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Diss road closure plans moved

PUBLISHED: 12:56 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:30 12 July 2010

Disgruntled traders in Diss have given a mixed reaction to proposals to shut a town centre road at the end of the summer as a result of a footpath repaving scheme.

Disgruntled traders in Diss have given a mixed reaction to proposals to shut a town centre road at the end of the summer as a result of a footpath repaving scheme.

Shopkeepers, publicans and business leaders had been up in arms after it emerged that Norfolk County Council had planned to begin the works at St Nicholas Street in June.

The project, which would have closed the entrance to Diss town centre for six weeks during the World Cup, has now been moved to start after the school holidays in September following lobbying by councillors and members of the Diss Business Forum.

However, the re-programming of the repaving scheme, has failed to appease some traders who are still concerned about the impact on businesses.

A number of shops in St Nicholas Street have already shut since the turn of the year, including Blue Moon clothing and craft shop and fashion retailer Tigertail.

Norfolk County Council has also pledged to look into a request to reverse the flow of the one-way system in Diss whilst St Nicholas Street is closed.

Dave Down, from Rooms with a View furnishing shop, said he feared that a later start to the works would still hurt traders.

“No time is a good time to shut St Nicholas Street and it will have a massive impact on all businesses. January or February would be much better, but they say they can't do the work in the freezing conditions,” he said.

But Roy Minshull, owner of Toy Box Toys, welcomed plans to widen the pavement, which will improve pedestrian safety in St Nicholas Street.

“June is the start of the holiday season and the road closure would put people off from coming into town. I would go for September over June because things are settling down after the summer. I think it will help us and it is nice to be listened to for once,” he said.

John Birchall, spokesman for Norfolk County Council, said the £80,000 repaving works had been put back two months following the request of businesses.

“We had a very useful meeting with Diss Town Council, who have suggested changes in the one-way flow as a better way of managing traffic while St Nicholas Street is closed. We are still looking into this because we have to consider access for vehicles of all sizes, and the final traffic management arrangements will be publicised nearer the time,” he said.


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