Proposals for Gorleston High Street traffic splits opinion

Gorleston High Street.March 2016Picture: James Bass

Gorleston High Street.March 2016Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Opinion is split over whether proposed changes to Gorleston High Street will help to calm traffic and make pedestrians safer.

Gorleston High Street.March 2016Picture: James Bass

Gorleston High Street.March 2016Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Plans for a street-long 20mph zone and three single-lane pinch points were put out to consultation to businesses last week.

The aim was to slow traffic down after a Norfolk County Council report found 64pc of accidents in the area involved pedestrians injuries.

Although many businesses supported the measures, some were not convinced the pinch points would improve the situation, when buses already mount the pavements to pass at busy times - and some members of the public agreed.

Margaret Ward was worried the pinch points could cause buses to be diverted another way. She said: 'The High Street is very important to us in Gorleston and most important is the buses. People come in and they do their shopping, it's the life blood of this High Street.'

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Some people on Facebook suggested the street should be made one way.

Adam Leggett said: 'Stop wasting tax payers money, make it a one way system from Priory Gardens - problem solved, thousands saved.'

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But others highlighted how when the High Street was closed and buses re-routed via Church Road last week, it caused mayhem.

Sue Allen said: 'If you make it one way there are going to have to be better bus stops on Church Road, the one near the church caused holdups and there's not one between there and the White horse roundabout.'

However, some felt the proposals would not solve the shopping area's issues.

Chrissi Brandon said: 'I don't think a lot of these planned changes will help. The problems started years ago when someone moved the bus stop from outside QD to outside Boots. That has caused a gridlock situation, traffic can't move at times.

'If a bus is parked cars will try and get round it which then causes problems for oncoming traffic. If we get two or three buses then drivers start blocking the crossing or even the cross road.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: 'We are keen to hear local people's views as we develop the plans for Gorleston High Street which we hope will make the street safer for pedestrians, with slower speeds and more crossing points, after recent stats showed an increase in personal injury accidents.

'An important first step has been to send letters out to around 200 residents and businesses fronting the possible 20mph limit as this will allow us to take into account local views before we consider whether to take any scheme forward.

'Once any plans were finalised these would then go through the statutory consultation process allowing everyone interested to respond before any scheme is put in place.'

County councillor Graham Plant added: 'It's clear that something needs to be done to make the road safer while maintaining the vibrancy of this popular shopping street. The plans to cut speeds and increase crossing points are a possible solution and I'd like to hear from both local businesses and residents on whether they think these plans would work or if there's anything we could improve.'

The plans are due to be discussed at the Gorleston Area Committee meeting on June 21.

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