Shoppers travelling to Norwich this Christmas are being asked to plan their journeys ahead to help keep the city’s roads moving as freely as possible.
It’s part of efforts by a partnership including the city and county councils, local business representatives and transport providers, which is preparing for the busiest time of the year on the Norwich road network. Traffic marshals, extended hours on Park & Ride and electronic messaging signs are all being used to help share information and keep people on the move.
In addition, an online journey planning page bringing together a range of useful websites is available at www.norfolk.gov.uk/journeyplanning. It includes links to bus timetables, liftshare, on-street parking options and real-time availability for the city’s multi-storeys. Councillor John Fisher, Norfolk County Council chair of Norwich Highways Agency Committee (NHAC), says: “We understand that shoppers want choice when it comes to their Christmas trips but by asking people to plan ahead and make informed choices, we hope it will spread any pressure on the network more evenly. “Whether it’s using Park & Ride or checking in advance the best place to park, these small steps could make a big difference when it comes to reducing traffic congestion in the city centre.” Councillor Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council vice-chair of NHAC, says: “Christmas is always going to be a busy time for the city’s roads but by working together and with the help of shoppers and visitors, we hope to keep traffic moving as freely as possible. “A break in all planned road works from mid-November will also keep any disruption to a minimum during this time.”
Stefan Gurney, Executive Director of Norwich Business Improvement District, said: “We are really pleased to continue working with our city partners to reduce possible delays during this peak Christmas period. The embargo on roadworks will work for all modes of transport, along with clear transport information in large signage at key routes allowing customers and visitors to make an informed decision on how to get into the city and reduce possible delays.”
Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) are being used to let drivers know when city centre traffic is at its peak so they can opt to use Park & Ride before reaching the centre, rather than facing possible delays. The Forum and John Lewis are also using traffic marshals at the entrances to their car parks to help make sure any queues don’t obstruct general traffic, while Norwich police will have officers on hand to provide support for traffic management if needed. Traffic management for the Transport for Norwich improvements to the Dereham Road/Sweetbriar Road roundabout will be removed and off-carriageway work will be progressed during this period instead.
Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council are working in partnership with: Castle Mall, First Eastern Counties, the Forum, intu Chapelfield, John Lewis, Konectbus, Norfolk Constabulary and Norwich Business Improvement District.
Konectbus will be running an extend Norwich Park & Ride service on the run-up to Christmas, including the 501 Airport/Thickthorn bus operating an hour later on Thursdays (until 9.30pm) and every 20 minutes on Sundays throughout November and December. For full details click here.
First Eastern Counties website with information on timetables, maps, fares and tickets: www.network-norwich.co.uk.
Please click here for real-time parking information for Park & Ride sites and the city centre multi-storey car parks.
Norfolk Liftshare: Norfolk Liftshare has been set up by Norfolk County Council to help people get around the county by sharing car journeys. For more information, please visit https://liftshare.com/uk/community/norfolk