Temporary works have been taking place at the Butterfly Underpass near the Bowthorpe Roundabout this week.

But it has raised question marks over longer term plans to permanently close the underpass as part of Norfolk County Council and Transport for Norwich blueprints for Dereham Road.

The proposals - which have been put to public consultation - would result in the removal of the Butterfly Way pedestrian underpass.

Mike Sands, Labour county councillor for Bowthorpe, said: "It's a safe crossing which is separate from the road.

"What they are proposing is to put in a surface crossing and bus crossing from the Wendene roundabout which will cause frustration and congestion.

"People will not be particularly pleased about that."

The underpass in Bowthorpe has temporarily closed (Image: Nicol Nicholls)

The county council has said the plans set out a blueprint for improving sustainable travel and safety on an important part of the road network.

Martin Wilby, county council cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport, believes the changes will help to improve long-term plans to address climate change.

The underpass is used by cyclists and those with mobility scooters as well as schoolchildren at the nearby primary and high schools.

Claire Chambers-Paston, 44, who lives in Bowthorpe, believes the underpass is important for her community.

She said: "If they shut that, how the hell are people supposed to cross Dereham Road?

"I used that underpass to get to the bus stop which takes me to the city centre and I have mobility issues.

"A lot of the people who live around here aren't exactly young."

The Bowthorpe roundabout near the underpass (Image: Mike Sands)

The mum of two teenagers added: "I understand they need to upgrade the road network but taking the subway away is a really bad idea.

"I think it will cause accidents without it."

Another parent living in Bowthorpe, who did not wish to be named, said: "I did not like to see a schoolgirl trying to cross that main road.

"It was very busy when I walked past the other day."

The county council's website stated the temporary works to the underpass were scheduled from Friday, November 18 until Tuesday, November 22.

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Underpass closure plans raise fears over schoolchildren safety

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23.11.2022

Temporary works have been taking place at the Butterfly Underpass near the Bowthorpe Roundabout this week.

But it has raised question marks over longer term plans to permanently close the underpass as part of Norfolk County Council and Transport for Norwich blueprints for Dereham Road.

The proposals - which have been put to public consultation - would result in the removal of the Butterfly Way pedestrian underpass.

Mike Sands, Labour county councillor for Bowthorpe, said: "It's a safe crossing which is separate from the road.

"What they are........

© Norwich Evening News


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