Golden Ball Street consultation response

Westlegate at its junction with Saint Stephen's Street
Westlegate at its junction with Saint Stephen’s Street

Norfolk County Council have consulted on changes to Golden Ball Street, All Saints Green and Westlegate in Norwich city centre. A general overview and detailed plans are available.

While Norwich Cycling Campaign supports the aims of the project we want to see more thought given to people who cycle about the city centre. Here is our consultation response in full.


Norwich Cycling Campaign supports the proposals in general and welcomes less through traffic in the city centre. However, we object to the proposals as they stand because they miss a significant opportunity to boost cycling in the city centre, by not anticipating that cyclists will want to travel the full range of possible routes, by not providing good quality routes, segregated where feasible from motor traffic and pedestrians. This is an opportunity to create new attractive through routes for cycling without making new areas of conflict between walking and cycling.

Currently, cycling across the city centre is hampered by the barriers of busy pedestrian areas such as London Street and The Walk on one side and fast flowing, one-way roads such as Rose Lane on the other. Looking at the Pedalway map, this quarter of the city centre is the least well served for cycling routes, but with a few adjustments and little, if any extra money these roads could provide attractive and direct new routes for cycling, encouraging cycling from a wide area into and through the city centre.

Junctions and permeability for cycling

  1. We object to the implications of these indicative plans that only some routes are direct routes for cycling. E.g. the junctions between Westlegate and All Saints Street and between All Saints Street and Ber Street. It is not clear why the existing road junctions planned around one-way travel are retained for cycling in this lay-out.
  2. There should be a direct link for cycling between Farmers Avenue and Rouen Road.
  3. All Saints Green and Westlegate could provide a much improved route on the blue/yellow pedalway as an alternative to Surrey Street and St Stephens, because it would be bus and junction free for more of its length and therefore much safer and more attractive.

Defined Spaces

  1. We are opposed to the raised table at Rampant Horse Street/St Stephens Plain. The road should be separated from the footway by kerbs as this is much preferred by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, especially some people with mobility disabilities and visually impairment. So-called ‘shared space’ is a mistake that will have to be removed within a few decades. Also block paving of this type is always destroyed by heavy vehicles, e.g. buses and becomes a maintenance burden.
  2. Westlegate should have the road separated from the footway by a kerb as above. There will be complaints about cyclists on this street otherwise and vans will park against the buildings. Queen Street, for example, has a completely flat surface that means vans are parked at the edge and pedestrians are forced to the middle in conflict with cyclists. It doesn’t work. Both pedestrians and cyclists are made uncomfortable by faster moving vehicles approaching from behind cycling downhill along Westlegate will also tend to create conflict with pedestrians without defined space.

Cycle Lanes and parking for cars

  1. Cycling up Westlegate on to Golden Ball Street and Ber Street should be easy. On the plans it looks like this will be obstructed by parking.
  2. Ber Street will become very dangerous to cycle on near Thorn Lane due to all the turns. There is space for four vehicles lanes so this could be two vehicles lanes and two kerb segregated cycle lanes.
  3. Ber Street at All Saints Green will be hazardous too. Parking on the east side should be removed so there is room for a segregated cycle track. On the west side a segregated cycle track should go between the coach and disabled bays and the footway (bus stop bypass). Segregated tracks must continue round the corner to Golden Ball Street in both directions, this corner will be dangerous.
  4. The cycle lane on Golden Ball Street should be kerb segregated from motor traffic.
  5. The end of the lane just south of the Woolpack Inn is unacceptable with a merge back into motor traffic. This should be a protected exit or the lane should continue in to Ber Street, see e).
  6. The proposed width of the cycle lane on Golden Ball St is 1.5m, which is inadequate. It should be 2.1m and kerbed. There are currently 3 lanes here so there is room.
  7. Additional parking and narrowed exit from Rouen Road is cycle unfriendly. Use the space for a kerb segregated lane.

General

  1. Kerbs that cyclists will cross must be flush not dropped. Many of the recently-installed kerbs have been dropped and are hazardous.
  2. There is no indication of where cycle parking will be, or indeed the overall numbers. It must be on level ground or carefully placed at right angles to the slope.
  3. Various pinch points are being added that will be dangerous and uncomfortable for cycling and these should be redesigned or removed.