What do you think of decision to remove car parking spaces in Diss town centre?
- Credit: Lucy Begbie
Residents have complained about a loss of parking spaces following a £3.4m project to improve their town and make it more pedestrian-friendly.
As work on roads and pavements comes to a close in the Heritage Triangle area of Diss, some are questioning the end result following three months of disruption to traffic and businesses in the town.
One of the main concerns is the loss of parking spaces on Market Hill used by shoppers to nip in to Larter and Ford or to visit the bank.
But Deborah Sarson, clerk to Diss Town Council, said the aim of the changes is to 'remove the dominance of the parked car' and create more space for pedestrians looking at the town's historic buildings.
Disabled Jeanette Stringfellow, from Thelveton, said: 'It's now made it extremely difficult for me to come into Diss because there's nowhere to park nearby for disabled people.
'I have to park in the Mere Street car park.'
Owner of the hardware shop Larter and Ford, Carl Edwards, said he gets quite a lot of elderly customers.
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If customers bought something heavy, he used to be able to cross the road and put it in the car for them - but not any longer.
He said: 'The biggest problem is the loss of parking spaces opposite - people used to be able to pop in quickly.
'I have had nobody in the shop who is for losing those spaces.'
Mrs Sarson said the decision to remove the car parking places was not taken lightly and followed an extensive survey.
People using the parking spaces were monitored at different times of the day and the results showed they were not visiting independent traders.
She said: 'What we've tried to achieve is to remove the dominance of the parked car so we can create squares with benches, planters and information.
'Pavements have been widened and the openess of the squares is about emphasising the heritage buildings and creating a space where people can linger.'
A 'no parking' restriction now operates throughout the Diss Heritage Triangle, except for designated Blue Badge spaces.
Programme manager, Sheila Moss King, said shoppers may load goods briefly but any parking will incur a fine.