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Council receives ‘numerous complaints’ over coronavirus emergency traffic measures

PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:18 18 June 2020

Temporary traffic restrictions have been put in place on High Street and Bridge Street in Downham Market. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Temporary traffic restrictions have been put in place on High Street and Bridge Street in Downham Market. Picture: Sarah Hussain

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A council has received ‘numerous complaints’ over emergency coronavirus traffic measures in the centre of the town.

Temporary traffic restrictions have been put in place on High Street and Bridge Street in Downham Market. Picture: Sarah HussainTemporary traffic restrictions have been put in place on High Street and Bridge Street in Downham Market. Picture: Sarah Hussain

The temporary restrictions were introduced on Bridge Street and High Street in Downham Market by Norfolk County Council on Monday, June 15, which stops motorists waiting, stopping and loading or unloading on parts of the roads.

The traffic order was issued because of the “likelihood of danger arising to the public due to Covid-19” and to help with social distancing measures.

Downham Market Town Council discussed the restrictions at a virtual full council meeting on Tuesday, June 16, where town mayor Becky Hayes revealed they were “already having numerous complaints from members of the public.”

She said: “We didn’t know what had happened, so the first we knew of it was when people were posting on social media saying ‘there’s a sign here, what’s it to do with?’

Temporary traffic restrictions have been put in place on High Street and Bridge Street in Downham Market. Picture: Sarah HussainTemporary traffic restrictions have been put in place on High Street and Bridge Street in Downham Market. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Tony White, county councillor, said: “What they’re doing is, doing away with the parking outside from the Town Hall down, where you normally park the cars, to petition it off and make the car parking a footway.

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“Maybe they might even narrow it if we go down to one metre.”

Alan Pickering, town councillor, raised concerns over the system on Bridge Street, asking whether it was the best option for shoppers.
He said: “There are a couple of things we talked about which haven’t been done.

“One which is a question of walking on the left pavement always, so people walking down the hill from the Town Hall walk on the Barclays bank side and people walking up the hill would walk on the Lloyds Bank side but that wasn’t put into place, that might have helped.

“The only thing that happened is that they barriered off the car parking spaces on the Barclays side, which is no good because most of the people are queuing outside Lloyds and Spoilt for Choice and they still have to step into the road.”

He said the restrictions outside the post office on High Street worked as it allowed people to walk past those queuing outside the post office as the pavement is “very narrow.”

Mr Pickering added: “Some of it has been done sensibly but the bit down Bridge Street has not worked at all.”

The temporary measures will be in place until Sunday, July 5, but if required it could be continued with a Temporary Traffic Order to be in place for up to 18 months.


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