Market place reopens to traffic

North Walsham Market Place is to be reopened to cars from Monday after traders and residents appealed to North Norfolk District Council to change the restrictions.

In a statement, a council spokesman said the changes reflected “feedback received from residents, businesses and other relevant parties as part of the regular reviews to the arrangements”.

“The changes balance the need to support local shops while enabling shoppers and pedestrians to socially distance and keep as safe as possible.”

The changes include:

Reopening three existing disabled parking bays in Market Place along with a number of other parking bays;

Allowing cars to drive through Market Place with drivers being encouraged to drive slowly. This will help food takeaway outlets who are dependent on easy access by customers during their evening opening hours;

Providing more pavement space for customers to queue outside Lloyd’s Bank and Santander Bank and adjoining shops. This should improve social distancing and public safety;

The existing one-hour free parking arrangements in part of Bank Loke car park, along with disabled parking places, will be continued for a short transition period as there will still be some loss of on street parking spaces in Market Place.

The changes have been made by North Norfolk District Council in consultation with Norfolk County Council Highways, North Walsham Town Council, Local Police and Chairman of the Town Chamber for Business. The impact of these changes will continue to be kept under review.

Eric Seward, County Councillor for North Walsham, and North Norfolk District Council’s deputy leader, who has been involved in the review, said: “The district council always promised that, given the quick way that these emergency measures had to be introduced, they would be kept under review.

“The council welcomes the feedback it has received, and it has included very differing views on whether Market Place should remain closed or be reopened. In the end it was decided that improvements could be made to socially distancing measures in Market Place that would both help the shops as well as keep people safe”

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