Drivers in Norwich are making fewer journeys, as rising fuel prices hit home, according to an eveningnews24 survey over the weekend

Norwich is getting less congested, while higher fuel prices are making more of us use public transport.

In a survey carried out on eveningnews24 over the weekend, 54pc of people said they had cut back on car use.

Some 37pc said they hadn't cut back, five pc said they were driving more and four pc said they were using the buys more.

Graham Samways, a senior engineer in Norfolk County Council's traffic control centre, said: 'We don't yet have authoritative figures, but there is certainly an impression of less traffic on the roads in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn, where we have traffic control CCTV cameras.

'We have taken a snapshot comparison of a recent typical day with a similar day last year and it appears that traffic is moving more freely, with shorter delays and marginally less congestion.


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'Observations also suggest that the peak periods may be shorter.'

Mr Samways said high fuel prices could be encouraging people to switch to public transport, while there was also 'anecdotal evidence' of more people cycling and walking.

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Over the weekend, pump prices in rural Norfolk rose to as high as 137.9p a litre for petrol and 141.9p for diesel.

Malcolm Flatman, who has run north Norfolk tourist attraction Sutton Pottery for 34 years, said: 'It does seem quieter this April than last and I imagine the cost of petrol is one of the contributory factors, along with a number of other economic factors at the moment.'

Alastair Baker, duty manager at Bressingham Steam Museum and Gardens, near Diss, said better public transport could help rural attractions which heavily rely on families using their cars.

'We're not on a bus route and in this industry now when it's all about encouraging green tourism it's becoming really hard to tick that box.'

The museum is currently investigating the possibility of providing a bus service from Diss train station, which is three miles away, for those who would prefer to leave their cars at home.

North Norfolk District Council said numbers using its parks had fallen by 13pc. Research by Britain's main motoring organisations backed the councils' findings.

Luke Bosdet, from the AA, said: 'We do regular surveys asking are people cutting back on car use, other spending, or a cmbination of the two.

'Two thirds of people are trying to cut back in some shape or form. The simple fact is along with other higher costs, people are getting to breaking point.' Mr Bosdet said people living in rural areas were hit hardest, with higher fuel prices and lower wages than those in urban areas.

'People are going to have to start talking to each other and find ways of sharing journeys,' he said.

John Franklin, from the RAC, said: 'We did some research at the end of February which revealed 75pc had reduced their journeys because of the high price of fuel.

'People are walking more and linking up their journeys - if they're picking up the kids from school, they'll go and do their shopping as well.'

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