St Matthews Street/Norfolk Street

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Traffic Calming

The St Matthews/New Street traffic calming introduced in 1992/3 is one of the most effective such schemes. It is now relatively safe to cycle and walk around, whereas before cars used to race along there.

One of the aims was to eliminate the "rat run" in the mornings of irresponsible motorists using this route to progress along East Road faster. This only works if kind-hearted motorists sitting in East Road traffic jams let them out from Norfolk Street into East Road, which many do, presumably assuming them to be residents just starting out.

In late 2002/early 2003 Norfolk Street had additional calming in the form of huge raised areas, for instance at the St Matthews Street junction. The raised areas match the pavement level.

East Road Junction

Given the excellent St Matthews Street/East Road junction, what's the necessity for vehicles to be allowed out of Norfolk Street onto East Road? If it were closed to vehicles, the cyclist and pedestrian safety of the area would be much improved (particularly sensitive because of the St Matthews Primary School entrance). The top of the road could then be redesigned according to pedestrian and cycle needs, for instance by lining it up exactly with Burleigh Street.
Rough sketch of situation now

Rough sketch of possible rearrangement

Against the odds, in 2002 the Joint Transport committee agreed in principle to close this end of Norfolk Street to motor traffic and to redesign it for pedestrian and cyclist convenience. The scheme just awaits funding.