Norwich city centre road closures could be extended
- Credit: Archant
The success of an experiment to cut anti-social behaviour in the heart of the city by closing roads at weekends means the initiative could be made permanent.
The weekend night-time closures of a string of streets leading off Prince of Wales Road have been hailed as a success in helping to cut anti-social behaviour.
The closures were introduced a year ago as part of a string of Norwich City Council measures to tackle problems in and around Prince of Wales Road and Riverside. They were brought in on Friday, Saturday and Sundays in Cathedral Street, St Faiths Lane and Recorder Road.
The thinking was that the noise from clubbers waiting to be picked up from pre-booked taxis, and from doors slamming and radios, caused 'considerable disturbance' for people living in the streets nearby.
Barriers were placed across roads, with vehicles banned from the streets from 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights to 6am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
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Police warned drivers who refused to obey the ban faced a £100 fine and three points on their licences, although people who lived in the streets were granted access.
The order was initially for 18 months and is due to expire in March, but police and city councillors are keen to extend it.
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Superintendent Dave Marshall, Norwich policing commander, said: 'The instigation of the road closures has had a positive effect in reducing the movement of people and vehicles from Prince of Wales Road into the neighbouring residential areas that were subject to anti social behaviour.
'Due to the closures there has been a movement of taxi queuing onto Prince of Wales Road where it is more visible to CCTV and officers to monitor.
'There is no reason for those leaving the night time economy area to congregate in the residential streets and as such dispersal is along main routes and more effective.'
He said the number of complaints to police about noise and people urinating in side streets had reduced to nil for the best part of a year.
The city council said the experiment had been well received by the majority of people living nearby and councillors have agreed to advertise for the temporary order to become permanent.
However, if brought in it would still only apply at weekends. Police have said they do not have the money to extend the access restriction routinely to days other than Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday nights.
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