Businesses in Bowthorpe Road, Norwich, call for rethink on crossing plans

Plans to put a new zebra crossing along a main Norwich street have sparked fears that it could put four local businesses at risk.

Norwich City Council was to begin work on a new �50,000 zebra crossing at Bowthorpe Road in the new year.

But the proposals have alarmed the owners of four businesses because they include the loss of parking spaces.

Now the traders have grouped together and submitted a 231-signature petition to the council calling on it to rethink the plans, and the authority has announced a fresh consultation after coming up with a second proposal, so that both options can be considered.

Lisa Holmes, a co-partner at Merry-Go-Round, on the corner of Bond Street, said even the revised proposal would cause problems for customers, and she said the petition showed the strength of feeling about the plans, dwarfing a previous 38-signature petition sent in my supporters of the crossing scheme.


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'Being a baby shop our customers have got at least one baby on the hip and a bag of stuff to bring in and they need to park outside for the convenience,' she said. 'We have 15 staff between the four of us, that's 15 families drawing an income from these businesses.

Ann Wynn, from Rene's Florist, who has worked at the family business since 1971, said: 'We are really worried if it goes ahead that it's going to put us out of business,' she said. 'The only place this crossing will go is the cemetery which closes at 4.15pm.'

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Green councillor Rupert Read, who has campaigned for a new crossing, said it would boost trade and improve the area.

'I've spoken to some of the business people and I understand their concerns, but at the end of the day the question is are we going to put this crossing at risk for the sake of business worries about one or two parking spaces, when what's really at risk is people's lives,' he said.

Norwich City Council spokesman Amy Lyall, said: 'We've had an awful lot of response to the plans and a second option has been put forward. We are going to consult on both options before they both go before the highways committee. A decision has not yet been made, we want to see what people think.'

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