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Cautious reaction to town traffic plans

PUBLISHED: 15:28 08 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 13 July 2010

PLANS for improving pedestrian safety, parking and traffic flow in North Walsham's shopping centre have been greeted with extreme caution by town chiefs.

PLANS for improving pedestrian safety, parking and traffic flow in North Walsham's shopping centre have been greeted with extreme caution by town chiefs.

The county council draft proposals included creating 12 parallel-parking spaces on Market Place, possible use of single-yellow lines, and a raised, paved area at the junction of Church Street and Market Place to slow down traffic and give priority to pedestrians.

County highways chiefs see the parallel-parking plan preventing problems caused by motorists obstructing Market Place while they wait for vacant slots.

The scheme would also see improved signage on a circular route, directing motorists to the town's car parks.

But North Walsham town councillors want far more say on any changes and have voted to take the whole scheme back to the drawing board.

They are inviting a county highways officer to meet them and discuss the proposals and their ideas. Councillors will also liaise with North Walsham Chamber of Trade which wants to see the one-way traffic flow in Church Street reversed. The chamber believes businesses have lost trade since the restriction was introduced.

Anne Rose feared the county's proposals would result in North Walsham suffering the same “blocking up” as Cromer. And Vivienne Uprichard was concerned that there would not be enough parking for disabled motorists.

Peter Moore, who is also a district and county councillor, said the proposals would create the worst of all possible worlds and he warned that, if the town council did not examine and question them thoroughly, it would look as if the “tail was wagging the dog.” Mr Moore added: “It's a hopeless scheme because it's so bitty.”


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