Proposals to create a transport hub at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) have been developed by the Transport for Norwich team at Norfolk County Council and are now open for an initial phase of public consultation.
The project’s aim is to provide a new bus interchange close to the outpatients entrance, which increases the capacity for buses, resolves congestion and reduces conflict with vulnerable users of the disabled car parking area. In addition, there is a plan to introduce a bike share facility to strengthen the hub’s provision and increase passenger capacity.
As well as creating a new arm off the existing on-site hospital roundabout to serve the proposed new hub, the infrastructure would include five new bus stops, bike share stands, cycle parking, a taxi drop-off/pick-up point and a bus shelter. Other facilities outlined to serve the area are streetlighting, CCTV, a bike repair station and the addition of electric vehicle charging points to an existing car park area.
The initial plans have been published to get feedback from as many people as possible who access the hospital to help inform how they are developed and finalised ahead of a formal planning application and consultation process next year.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Chair of the Transport for Norwich joint committee and Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said: “The NNUH provides vital services to people from across the county so it’s essential that we make it easily accessible through as many modes of transport as possible. We’re keen to get people’s initial thoughts on what we’re proposing for the new transport hub so that the final plans put forward are the best version possible of this important new facility.”
Sam Higginson, NNUH Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased to be working with Norfolk County Council and Transport for Norwich to explore solutions to improve bus capacity and cycle storage at our hospital and would invite staff, patients and the public to have their say on the proposals.
“These proposals would help to reduce congestion in the main plaza of the hospital which is currently being used by buses, taxis, patient transport services and cars as a drop-off area as well as a disabled parking area.
“We are working with Norfolk County Council reviewing how we would offset the loss of staff car parking spaces, if the transport hub plans were to go ahead.”
To find out more about responding to the consultation and to view a plan of the proposals, please visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nnuhtransporthub. The deadline for comments is Sunday 5 December 2021. Feedback received will then be taken into account as the design for the scheme is developed in more detail ahead of the planning application and a formal consultation.
This project is part of a programme of infrastructure changes in the Greater Norwich area, which was agreed by the county council’s Cabinet last year and is funded by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Transforming Cities Fund. As we deliver these projects, we are carrying out a series of public consultations to help identify any issues for consideration when finalising the plans put forward for planning or highways approval and then construction. For more information, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/transformingcities.
Norwich Eye comments: This is yet another attempt to address the numerous design failures that characterise this private finance hospital. Objectors pointed out the transport problems implicit in this location before the first brick was laid, but the voice of protesters, residents and even Norwich City Council were ignored by the developers and by the South Norfolk planners. Patients, visitors and staff have paid the price for poor transport and rip-off parking charges for years. Please do respond to this consultation.