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Norwich hospitality association raises concerns over impact of road works

PUBLISHED: 15:16 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:16 29 November 2017

The Norwich Area Hoteliers Association is concerned about the impact ongoing road works are having on hotels. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norwich Area Hoteliers Association is concerned about the impact ongoing road works are having on hotels. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A Norwich hospitality association has raised concerns about the impact road works are having on hotels located to the north of the city.

Norwich Area Hoteliers Association chair Bill Heath. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. Norwich Area Hoteliers Association chair Bill Heath. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Norwich Area Hoteliers Association chair Bill Heath, who is also the general manager of the Holiday Inn Norwich North, said guests were increasingly opting to stay in hotels closer to the city centre due to congestion during peak hours.

The association raised the issue with Norwich North Conservative MP Chloe Smith at a recent meeting and said it would also look to address the road works and on ongoing pedestrianisation of the city centre with the Norwich City Council early next year.

Mr Heath said: “We need to know what they are trying to achieve because it seems like the city is just being closed more and more and is getting increasingly difficult to get in to.

“It’s got so bad it’s taking people over an hour in the morning to get into the city from areas to the north and guests are telling us they don’t want to stay here because of the traffic.”

Nick Bond of Visit Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley Nick Bond of Visit Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

He said weekday business and weekend holiday guests using rental vehicles and public transport were affected.

“We’re a big hotel and are well placed near the airport but many of our guests are telling us they want to stay closer to the city.”

Head of tourism for Visit Norwich, Nick Bond said he was aware of the concerns raised by the association, but said transport planning authorities faced a tough task.

He said Visit Norwich, through Norwich Bid had established a good working relationship with transport authorities.

“All parties are interested in reaching a sustainable solution to transport in the city.”

A Norwich City Council spokesperson said measures were in place to help with traffic flow during peak hours. These include a Christmas embargo on roadworks, manual control on temporary signals where appropriate and contractors who are obliged to fulfil certain conditions during peak hours.

The spokesperson said: “Last year, footfall in Norwich was up 2.7pc while the national average for other cities fell by 1.1pc.

“It’s commonplace that people who want to enjoy more immediate access to the city centre will take advantage of staying in a hotel closer to the city to avoid travelling in from the north.”

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