Shock at possible loss of more than half of North Walsham’s town-centre parking spaces

13:07 13 June 2013

Some of the current parking bays in North Walsham Market Place. Photo: ANTONY KELLY

Some of the current parking bays in North Walsham Market Place. Photo: ANTONY KELLY


More than half the “drop-and-shop” parking places in North Walsham Market Place could be lost under improvement plans pencilled in for next March.

This week’s revelation has shocked a North Walsham Chamber for Business chief who says the cut, from 19 short-stay parking slots to a possible eight, is far more than members had expected and could have a serious impact on town-centre trade.

The news comes as the struggling town centre adjusts to the recent loss of a fishmonger and a greengrocer, and as traders fight to try and gain cash for free car parking in the town’s Bank Loke and Vicarage Street car parks as part of a deal with Scott Properties, the developers of another edge-of-town supermarket, on Cromer Road, which has been granted conditional planning approval.

The Market Place parking space proposals are part of an estimated £97,000 worth of changes, first discussed in 2007, aimed at ending traffic snarl-ups in the town centre and making it a safer and more pleasant environment for pedestrians.

Nicholas Lee, chamber vice chairman, said they had expected to lose two or three slots under plans to change the bays, which are currently at a 90-degree angle from the kerb, into wider slots in an echelon formation to help with visibility and manoeuvrability for drivers.

“I am very surprised at this. If they had said they were dropping it to 16 I don’t think we would have argued but I feel more than 50pc is too large a reduction. We are going to have to discuss this at our next meeting,” he added.

“Those spaces are critical to businesses in the town. A lot of people use them and call in to shops. They are full during the day.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are working on four options at the moment but there will be a net reduction in spaces. The options have a blend of regular and disabled bays. The favoured option in terms of aesthetics, buildability and ease of use has two disabled and six regular spaces.”

The plans also include widening the pavement on the parking bay side of Market Place, reducing the road width to three meters.

Designers hope the move would deter motorists from waiting for parking spaces to become vacant, adding to congestion especially when buses are dropping off or collecting passengers in Market Place.

North Norfolk District Council has offered £46,000 towards the scheme and the county council will meet the rest.

The county council spokesman said final designs and the time scale for their implementation would depend on the result of public consultation but there was a “provisional programme date” of March 2014.

Phase one of the scheme, the erection of signs directing motorists to the town’s shoppers’ car parks, has already been completed.

It is hoped the signs will relieve congestion in Market Place caused by drivers, unfamiliar with North Walsham’s layout, hunting for somewhere to park.


  • There is plenty of parking just 50 yds behind. People just can't be bothered to walk.

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    Thursday, June 13, 2013

  • Funny way of improving the town - restricting access will at least make more room to walk as no one will bother to visit!

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    Thursday, June 13, 2013

  • "Improvements"?? Start saying goodbye to the rest of your town-centre shops; lots of parking at the supermarkets!!

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    Thursday, June 13, 2013

  • Best way of reducing people coming into town to shop as far as I can see. Goodbye decent shops, welcome to yet more charity shops and take aways. Congestion seems to be mainly caused by buses waiting for bus stop to clear and holding traffic up. Nice to see that Cromer is getting improvements to its bus station. Once again lets chuck all the money at Cromer and Sheringham and not the largest town in North Norfolk.

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    Council Worker

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

  • Where do we get these blithering idiots from? Are they cloned from existing ones, or do they simply breed amongst themselves? And, this it THEIR idea of an IMPROVEMENT???????? What, exactly is wrong with what we have now? And if you leave it alone you also spend NO money. This, like many Council schemes, beggars belief.

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    Saturday, June 15, 2013

  • The councils can't wait to close down north walsham. There would then be more money for Cromer and sheringham It's the buses that cause the problems . When all the independent retailers have been forced out by lazy greedy landlords demanding ridiculous rents and footfall down to non existent levels because customers can't pop in to do their shopping will the councillors then bleat about the loss of high street shopping and come up with some other bonehead plan ? Probably

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    Thursday, June 13, 2013

  • Just make the spaces shorter duration. Car users, who need to, can use them to dash into the bakerschemistsbank etc You really want people to do that so that other shops can catch their eye as they pass by. If they see something that interests them they will then come back later and park in the P&D car parks for a longer shop. If you make it hard to do a quick shop in the town centre people will quickly forget what is there and never bother to return, leaving the town centre to non-car users who tend to have a lower disposable income. Town planners seem to be completely unaware that car drivers need to be enticed into short trips into town centres so that they will be excited by what is on offer and return and spend. It would be lovely if everyone could get everywhere they need to go without cars and town centres were quieter, safer and cleaner, but that just isn't going to happen - or at least until all the high street shops are gone I suppose.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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