Busy Norwich road will not be closed at night

David BalePlans to close part of Prince of Wales Road at nights to make it safer for pedestrians and car users look dead in the water, after the council rejected recommendations in a report.David Bale

Plans to close part of Prince of Wales Road at nights to make it safer for pedestrians and car users look dead in the water, after the council rejected recommendations in a report.

The Norwich City Licensing Forum wanted to close part of the road to private vehicles from 10pm to 5am to cut traffic pollution on weekend nights.

But the Evening News has obtained a copy of a Norwich City Council letter which was sent to the forum and states the authority does not have the money to close the road, which it claims is not dangerous anyway.

Last September the forum compiled an in-depth report on the road, which is a hotspot for Norwich's nightlife, outlining a radical overhaul of the role of door supervisors, road use policing strategies and public toilets.

In the letter Jerry Massey, the council's director of regeneration and development said suggestions the road was dangerous were not borne out by figures for accidents, of which there were only 16 in the last four years, and only six of those were between 9pm and 5am.

He wrote: 'The traffic management costs to implement a partial closure have been estimated at �150,000 revenue with an initial capital outlay of �30,000 per annum.

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'There is presently no funding available within the city council for this work and the road incident figures would not justify an application for additional funding from Norfolk County Council.'

Mr Massey added the proposals would anyway be superseded by the new Norfolk County Council new Transport for Norwich strategy, in which the road has been designated as a bus and taxi only route. This strategy will be introduced in phases by 2015.

The council has also ring-fenced funding in the transport budget to review the provision of parking/waiting restrictions on the Prince of Wales Road.

Julian Foster, chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens' Forum, said: 'My initial response is that the letter treats us as though we know little about the questions we are trying to address and are expecting the city council and the county council to immediately resolve them for us whereas we, as a licensing forum, know what the problems are and simply want to help in seeking appropriate solutions.

'It assumes that we expect the city council to initiate new initiatives to resolve the difficulties whereas what we actually expected was a willingness to sit down with us to jointly evolve solutions around the issues we have identified.

'What we are concerned about is that the city council is fragmented in its dealings with us and what we want is a more co-ordinated method of dealing with it.'

Supt Nick Dean, of Norfolk police, said: 'Partnership work in the city centre is ongoing, and we have made significant strides in making Prince of Wales Road and the Norwich night-time economy a safer place. Violent crime has been reduced and we welcome any partnership work that takes forward any issues in the area.'

What would you do to make Prince of Wales Road safer? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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