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Plans reveal how Norwich streets could change to cope with coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 14:34 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:45 17 June 2020

St Benedicts Street in Norwich. Picture: Simon Parkin

St Benedicts Street in Norwich. Picture: Simon Parkin

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Further details have been revealed over how traffic could be restricted in some Norwich streets, so cafes can have outdoor seating and people can abide by social distancing rules.

Plans have been published showing how changes could be made temporarily to St Benedicts Street and Exchange Street, with people invited to have their say.

The idea is that, by banning general traffic and widening pavements, it will help pedestrians keep two metres apart and create surplus space which cafes and restaurants can use for seating.

Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council’s proposals for the first two streets - Exchange Street and St Benedicts Street - include restricting access for general traffic and loading activity to create more space for walking, queuing and the potential for pavement cafes.

It is also proposed that redundant signs, railings and other street furniture are removed, to de-clutter the streets.

Stencils and temporary signs have been put in place in the city centre to encourage people to keep their distance and walk on the left hand side of streets.

Crossing times have also been lengthened for pedestrians at traffic signal-controlled crossings around the inner ring road, to stop people being bunched up on islands in the middle of the road.

Consideration is also being given to further measures in other streets, such as Magdalen Street, St Giles Street, Upper St Giles, Surrey Street and All Saints Green.

The public will be consulted on those proposals in due course, with the government having said the earliest restaurants and pubs might reopen is July 4.

Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: “Working closely with the city council and Norwich Business Improvement District we have already deployed temporary signage throughout the city and this proposal forms the next step in further measures to keep people safe whilst supporting the recovery of local businesses”.

The two councils want to hear people’s views before deciding whether to make changes. The proposals are on the consultation page at www.norfolk.gov.uk

Comments and questions can be emailed to cityhighways@norfolk.gov.uk by Tuesday, June 23, saying which street plan you are commenting on in the subject line.

MORE: Bosses divided over proposed city road closures


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