Reader letter: Pedestrianisation of Great Yarmouth has been the downfall of vibrant resort
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
A few weeks ago on the letters page someone was complaining how 'downmarket and tawdry' Great Yarmouth was getting. Well, after the devastating fire in Regent Road perhaps now is the time to take action.
Regent Road has always been the main thoroughfare of the town and access for many to the beach and promenade and I feel the current pedestrian only set-up does little to promote the town.
In the days prior to the change this road was always busy, a vivid lively heart of the town. From the now extinct restaurant known as Hazels opposite Britannia Pier, a favourite with many over the years, down to the two theatres/cinemas and ending at the famous kipper shop, this was always a thriving street for many businesses. Sadly this all stopped when some bright spark said 'let's go pedestrian only'.
In my memory there used to be two main 'blue bus' routes in Great Yarmouth which helped commerce, residents and visitors and both died when the pedestrianisation happened. The first was service number 11 which used to run from the Market Place to the large bus shelters where Market Gates is now, up to the North Denes via Regent Road and on Saturday it started at Vauxhall Station and ran to North Denes caravan park. The other service that disappeared was the number 7, North Denes to South Denes, which connected all the venues on the promenade and was always extremely well used.
Nowadays getting to the promenade from Market Gates is a no go area and walking both ways in Regent Road was too much for many. Oddly enough I think things were better when we had the old bus station behind the circus; it was an easy stroll to the front and you could also get a bus down Regent Road (and back again) if you wanted a bit of retail therapy, especially on Wednesday for the then famous market!
In conclusion I recommend that Regent Road be redesigned as a two-way bus lane (and emergency vehicles access only) and also put a stop halfway down to help prospective shoppers. I would also suggest re-establishing a regular promenade service; this would help people use the various venues along the promenade and make it feel like part of the town again.
Also rebuild the bus station with adequate toilets and perhaps a café.
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• Brian V Fox, Watton