Survey to decide whether new pedestrian zone is driven forward in Sheringham as councillor reveals it is already in action

Judy Oliver, Cabinet member of NNDC who is starting a campaign to laugh a trial pedestrian only zone

Judy Oliver, Cabinet member of NNDC who is starting a campaign to laugh a trial pedestrian only zone in Sheringham. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Archant

A move to make part of Sheringham a pedestrian-only zone has taken a step forward, with 5,000 copies of a survey due to be distributed to local homes and businesses at the end of the month.

The idea, which has been aired a number of times in the past, was put forward by district councillor for Sheringham south ward Judy Oliver, who wants to gauge support amongst traders and townsfolk.

After discussing various traffic-free options with the town's Chamber of Trade, Mrs Oliver drafted a questionnaire asking respondents if they would like to see parts of Sheringham pedestrianised and, if so, which streets and when.

It will be put through letterboxes in Sheringham and Beeston Regis and, depending on the response, she hopes to run a trial to see how well the proposed scheme would work.

'There are many options for doing some kind of pedestrianisation and each has advantages and disadvantages,' Mrs Oliver said. 'Understandably, businesses will have mixed views, as well as concerns about traffic, but the survey is intended to be neutral and open to all comments and ideas.'

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She added that a number of people she had spoken to had pointed out that during the height of the tourist season, the lower end of High Street – which has been suggested as a possible traffic-free area - was used by town visitors as an informal pedestrian zone, with people walking in the middle of the road to get to the sea front.

'Obviously that is something we need to think about, as well as looking at commercial deliveries and access for taxis and people shopping.'

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Other considerations included continuing to develop Sheringham's appeal to residents and visitors, increasing footfall and encouraging people to visit the lower end of High Street and the promenade, which, Mrs Oliver said, could be enhanced with better lighting to encourage evening visitors.

Options for pedestrianisation could include making parts of the town traffic-free at weekends, during the summer season only, or at set times of the day.

'I want to know if people want it and, if so, what they want, so I'm hoping for a good response, Mrs Oliver said. 'And if there is support for two or three clearly preferred options, we could perhaps re-consult on those and trial the most popular one.'

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