Bid to move buses from North Walsham Market Place

North Walsham Market Place.

North Walsham Market Place. - Credit: Colin Finch

A bid to drive buses out of North Walsham Market place to make it safer for shoppers is being explored by councillors.

The idea comes as £80,000 of county and district council money will be spent on revamping the town centre to make it a more attractive and 'pedestrian friendly'.

Town councillors agreed on Tuesday to lobby the county council for the cash from its 2014/15 budget to fund a feasibility study to investigate a bus interchange station plan.

A series of sites near the Market Place, including one off Yarmouth Road near the Lidl supermarket, will be investigated, according to town council clerk Margaret Foster.

She said: 'We have been known to get up to four buses in the Market Place, which gives us a lot of problems.

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'Nothing can get through at all. If another bus wants to get through it cannot. It snarls everything up

'You get elderly people on mobility scooters and mothers with prams. It makes it very confusing for them to cross the road. We are trying to make the Market Place a better place to be.'

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She added it could be possible to move the bus interchange because it would mirror the situation on Thurdays when no traffic is allowed through the Market Place on market day.

Generally up to three Sanders Coaches from Cromer to Mundesley or Cromer to Norwich stop on the Market Place every hour when passengers move onto different buses.

Mrs Foster added: 'It has a knock- on effect for the buses and they are delayed.'

The clerk said the town council was in discussion with Charles Sanders, owner of Holt-based Sanders Coaches.

A report from North Walsham county councillor Paul Morse told town councillors: 'The county council are hoping to fund in 2014/15 a feasibility study for a bus interchange in North Walsham. Clearly the situation can change but this is a hopeful sign.'

It is not known how much money would be spent on a feasibility study looking at potential sites.

Mrs Foster said the idea of a bus station was first brought up a few years ago by former town councillor and deputy mayor George Nelson, who has since died.

She added: 'At least the town council can now look towards it again, which is a good thing. A bus interchange has always been part of the improvements to the town centre. Nothing is certain but we hope it will come to fruition.'

Mrs Foster said investigations would be held into who owned the land off Yarmouth Road.

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