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U-turn as city centre disabled parking bays are saved

PUBLISHED: 17:52 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:05 02 July 2019

Judith Lubbock and Lucinda Poliakoff celebrate saving disabled parking bays on Opie Street. Picture: David Hannant

Judith Lubbock and Lucinda Poliakoff celebrate saving disabled parking bays on Opie Street. Picture: David Hannant

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A campaigner has spoken of her delight after persuading transport bosses to scrap plans to remove disabled parking bays from a city street.

Judith Lubbock and Lucinda Poliakoff celebrate saving disabled parking bays on Opie Street in Norwich. Picture: David HannantJudith Lubbock and Lucinda Poliakoff celebrate saving disabled parking bays on Opie Street in Norwich. Picture: David Hannant

As part of a £1m revamp of the London Street area of Norwich, it had been proposed that a disabled parking bay with space for three cars be removed from Opie Street.

However, as councillors rubber-stamped the majority of the scheme, 62-year-old Lucinda Poliakoff was able to persuade them to keep the bays in place.

Dr Poliakoff, who is a blue badge holder due to inflammatory arthritis and an auto-immune disease, relies on the bay to access Café Gelato, her favourite haunt in the city.

She said: "My husband Enrico is Italian and the café is his own little slice of Italy, but without the bay we would not be able to go there.

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"However, it is about far more than just ice cream - the bays are so conveniently placed in the city centre and having the space there gives me my independence."

The revamp had initially called for the spaces to be removed, with a new set of bays at the end of Bank Plain.

However, while the Bank Plain spaces will still be added, the Opie Street spaces are also set to remain.

Dr Poliakoff, of Waverley Road in Eaton, added: "I'm absolutely delighted by the decision and it restores my faith in consultations. A lot of people I spoke to said they felt as though the decision had been made, but this shows they are done for a reason."

Judith Lubbock, city councillor for the Eaton ward, said: "I'm in no doubt that had Lucinda not been at the meeting and making her voice heard, that decision would not have been reached."

Meanwhile, the Transport for Norwich scheme, which is set to cost close to £1m, was agreed by the newly formed transforming cities committee at County Hall, which is made up of members of Norfolk, Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk councils.

The regeneration is
the final part of the Prince of Wales Road area overhaul, which will see widening of pavements and crossings and sections of London Street - the country's first ever pedestrianised shopping street - re-paved.

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