Video: Action plan for Norwich’s clubbing district

Prince of Wales Road in Norwich. Prince of Wales Road in Norwich.

Thursday, March 20, 2014
11:47 AM

A dozen new measures – including experimental road closures, extra CCTV cameras, new toilets and taxi marshals – could be introduced to help cut alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour in Norwich.

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The 12 measures

Introducing an experimental late night road closure in specified residential streets, to operate from 11pm until 6am on Fridays and Saturdays. Private hire vehicles which park in those streets could be moved to Castle Meadow.

Installing a new CCTV camera in Bank Plain.

Putting a new CCTV camera in Cathedral Street/St Faiths Lane.

Gating orders – the first of which is likely to be in Redwell Street.

Working with the licensed trade to explore how they can make toilets available at the end of the evening.

Increase policing resources.

Calling on the government to take action on the cost and availability of alcohol.

Developing a cumulative impact policy – which would create a presumption against further licences being

approved.

Introducing taxi marshalling.

Providing public toilets in the new Rose Lane car park.

Promoting a designated driver scheme.

Improving traffic management – with a medium-term aim to ban general traffic from Prince of Wales Road and make Rose Lane two-way for general traffic.

A new action plan to tackle long-running problems in the heart of the city’s clubbing district, including Prince of Wales Road and Riverside, has been drawn up by council officers and police.

It follows work done over the past year, through which Norwich City Council and partner organisations identified a string of key issues, which they say need to be dealt with.

If the plan gets the go-ahead, one of the most radical measures would see traffic banned from streets, such as Cathedral Street, St Faiths Lane and Recorder Road on Friday and Saturday nights, starting this summer.

That would stop private hire vehicles from queuing in residential streets, with the council proposing to allow them to park in Castle Meadow instead – which would channel drinkers away from the residential areas.

The city council says the noise from clubbers waiting to be picked up from pre-booked taxis and from doors slamming and radios causes “considerable disturbance” for people living in the streets nearby.

Police have said they are prepared to enforce the road closure, which would apply from 11pm until 6am for all vehicles except those used by residents and local businesses.

Another measure is to install new CCTV cameras at a cost of about £37,000 – funded by the police and the Norfolk community safety partnership.

And, to help prevent people urinating in people’s gardens, new public toilets will be created in the proposed £7m 600-space Rose Lane Car Park the city council plans to build.

Bars and clubs will also be urged to encourage people to use their lavatories at the end of the night.

Some pedestrian alleyways, where the council receives complaints over “urinating, vomiting and other nefarious activities”, could be gated using the clean neighbourhood act of 2005. The first is likely to be in Redwell Street, if councillors approve the order, with the residents paying for the gate.

The council is also looking to promote a designated driver scheme, which would encourage licensees to offer free non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers. And taxi marshals could make a return. Norwich previously had such a scheme in Tombland, funded by the Home Office. When that funding ran out, the police and council paid for it temporarily while attempts were made to make it self-funding.
While that was abandoned, the system could be revived under a new model. The action plan is set to be approved when Norwich City Council’s cabinet meets on Wednesday next week.

The opposition Green group had previously put forward their recommendations to cure the late night drinking problems.

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