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Call to make more of Norwich city centre and roads next to schools car free

A call for more of Norwich city centre to become car free was deferred by Norwich City Council. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

A call for more of Norwich city centre to become car free was deferred by Norwich City Council. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Archant

A call is being made to ban or limit cars on more of the city centre’s roads - and outside Norwich schools.

City councillors will be asked to explore whether there could be options to “significantly reduce or remove” non-essential motor traffic from “within the city walls”.

And they will be also be asked to agree to look into whether cars could be restricted or reduced on roads next to primary schools at drop off and pick up times.

The requests are in a motion about moving towards a car free city centre, to go before members of Norwich City Council on Tuesday, July 21.

Liberal Democrat Judith Lubbock, who has proposed the motion, to be seconded by Green city councillor Ben Price, said changes in behaviour triggered by COVID-19 and lockdown were an opportunity to rethink reliance on private cars.

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Archant Library.Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Archant Library.

She said: “It has meant people are walking and cycling more and, because they haven’t been using public transport in the way they had before, we need to try to keep it going. The government are keen to help with that, with the money they are giving councils.”

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Mrs Lubbock, city councillor for Eaton, said cutting cars on roads and encouraging walking and cycling would have health benefits for people and reduce pollution.

She said: “People say ‘but it will kill the city’, but it won’t, as more people will feel they can walk and cycle there safely. We do acknowledge the council has done a fair amount already, but we need to build on that.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.

“It’s trying to look at things from a different perspective, that the car does not have to be king.”

The motion says options would be explored in consultation with businesses, the public, the county council and groups which represent people with disabilities.

And it says the council would work with traders to ensure deliveries could continue and businesses would not be “negatively impacted” by any changes to city centre access.

She said banning cars from outside primary schools, something Mr Price had previously asked for consideration of, could encourage parents to swap cars for public transport or walking.

Alan Waters, Labour leader of Norwich City Council, said parts of the city centre had already been car free for years and added: “We need transport that works for everybody in the city.”


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