Diss town centre road to reopen

A town centre road in Diss is set to reopen ahead of schedule next week ending the disruption caused by a footpath repaving scheme.

One trader has reported a 75pc reduction in takings and others have experienced a drop in footfall since St Nicholas Street was shut at the beginning of September.

Officials from Norfolk County Council said that workmen were ahead of schedule and were due to finish before their October 15 deadline, despite carrying out extra work requested by traders and the town council.

The �60,000 scheme, scheduled for six weeks, has seen the realignment and widening of the pavements to deter drivers from illegally parking and stop heavy goods vehicles from causing damage to buildings. Cast iron posts will also be added to provide further protection from vehicles.

News that St Nicholas Street is set to reopen comes after shopkeepers reported a sharp drop in trade during the county council works.

David Gould, of Cash Express, said business had 'plummeted' and he had not paid his business rates for the last two weeks in protest at the road closure. John Birchall, spokesman for Norfolk County Council, added that the authority used two gangs of workmen last Friday to push ahead with the project.

'The traders along the street and the town council have been very co-operative and helpful. The timing of the works was agreed with the town council and traders,' he said.