One example of where Norwich's traffic changes have been a success so far

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 07:03 10 June 2018

Westlegate, Norwich. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Westlegate, Norwich. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

I'm sure everyone reading this will be aware of the many changes to the layout of Norwich, in particular the city centre, we have witnessed over the last couple of years.

And to be honest I’ve been pretty sceptical about a lot of it, especially given that the route I take to and from work everyday, Hethersett to Rouen Road, seems to be slower and more clogged up than ever before. Anyone who has tried to turn out of the top of Rouen Road will know exactly what I mean.

Overall I’d be interested to know whether Norwich City Council has collated evidence about journey times around Norwich and whether they have improved. In fact it’s something I’ve put the editorial team onto so watch out for that in the next few weeks.

However, there is one change to the city centre that I’ve enjoyed and am starting to see signs that I’m not alone - namely the increased pedestrianisation of Westlegate.

What once was a busy road is now a walkway, with benches, a few trees and of course several shops, a pub, cafe and John Lewis surrounding it.

Heading out for lunch (when I get one) over the last few weeks it has struck me each time how busy and bustling this area now is.

Earlier this week, as the sun shone down, I noticed that every outside seat at the pub and cafe was taken, as was every spot on the bench. Furthermore, the lower part of Westlegate, which has usually struggled for shops to stay open for any period of time, seems to also be enjoying something of a renaissance.

Of course the fear is that people have simply been moved from somewhere else in Norwich to this spot, so overall it’s of no benefit at all. I don’t know enough about the trends to comment on that.

However, as someone who works nearby and therefore uses that route regularly it’s an enjoyable sight to see it so lively.

It’s not a small space so I hope over the next few years this trend grows and could perhaps see it becoming a good area for outdoor theatre, live music and the odd street festival.

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