Norwich City Council is urging Norfolk County Council to make major improvements to the Transport for Norwich Strategy before it's formally adopted later this year.
A draft response to the county council’s public consultation on the strategy, which details feedback and changes the city council wants to see, will be considered by its cabinet on Wednesday 8 September.
The response calls for more ambition in promoting the policies and projects needed to help people move around the city more easily by bike, bus and on foot and backed by sufficient funding. It criticises an excessive focus on building new roads that fuel traffic growth and identifies a need for more evidence and data to track progress against a clear timetable – without which, it would not be clear whether policies are effective, such as the new, very welcome, carbon reduction targets.
Norwich City Council's cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, Councillor Mike Stonard, said:
“We have a bold and radical vision for transport in Norwich and the need to transform the city into a cleaner, safer, fairer and more sustainable city for everyone.
“Although we welcome the creation of the document, we are proposing ambitious and progressive measures that need to be included and will continue to put pressure on the county council to deliver what’s best for Norwich.
“It will only be after the county council approves the final version of the strategy that we can decide whether to formally support it, and this will depend on the extent to which our comments have been considered and addressed.”
Some of the improvements the city council is urging the county council to include or expand on in the strategy are:
- More ambition to control vehicle speed in the city by making 20mph the default speed limit across Norwich
- Additional infrastructure to support the move to emission free vehicles and the take up of electric buses, taxis, and cars
- A greater focus on ensuring that public transport remains an affordable option for travel and measures to improve reliability are brought forward
- Commitments regarding spending more on schemes to enable cycling and walking than what is being dedicated to road building
- Maintenance of footpaths and cycleways to be improved and county council to make it easier for trees to be incorporated within transport schemes and new developments
- Detailed action plan and further monitoring information to be published prior to the strategy being adopted
The full draft response from Norwich City Council can be read in the cabinet papers and is recommended for approval.