The "contentious" issue of pedestrianisation has once again been raised as the city looks to boost its business in the face of a turbulent winter.

Norwich is unique in that it doesn't have an official high street or main street recently pointed out when discussing how to futureproof the city.

With chunks of the city centre - predominantly the Lanes - vehicle-free, calls have been made to pedestrianise Norwich further in a bid to increase footfall.

Green councillor Jamie Osborn, who represents the Mancroft ward on both the city and county council, said: "The experience in Norwich and in other cities overwhelmingly shows that taking cars off the streets creates more space for thriving businesses, helps bring people into the centre and means a cleaner, healthier city.

"Members of the public and small businesses have spoken to me of their desire to see more of the city pedestrianised.

"Norfolk County Council must also go further in implementing policies to get cars off roads, including through ensuring there is affordable and reliable public transport."

Paul Dodd and Dave Finlay own Elements Clothing in Lower Goat Lane.

Paul said: "We've been based here for 35 years. It's very much important to us to be on a pedestrianised thoroughfare.

"Our first shop was at Bagleys Court and there was no footfall. We moved 35 years ago and noticed an instant change.

Norwich Evening News: Dave Finlay and Paul Dodd of Elements Clothing in Lower Goat Lane, NorwichDave Finlay and Paul Dodd of Elements Clothing in Lower Goat Lane, Norwich (Image: Maya Derrick)

"I 100pc welcome more pedestrianisation.

"We've seen ups and downs on this street. Footfall has really increased since the Lanes were created.

"The only thing is that we need access. To pedestrianise the entire place would be quite difficult.

"The fact that people can park nearby does help with our footfall."

Dave added he feels "strongly" that there should be a balance, adding: "When we started the business we didn't have the internet.

"We compete against online sales and people don't drive into Norwich now because it's hard and expensive to park.

"There's a limit as to how much they can restrict it."

Philip Webster has run his stall - Sundara Gemstone Jewellery - in neighbouring Guildhall Hill for 25 years.

He said: "A lot of my trade relies on people walking by but they shouldn't pedestrianise it too much because there could possibly be less people coming down if their parking was too far away.

Norwich Evening News: Philip Webster has worked his Sundara Gemstone Jewellery stall in Guildhall Hill for 25 yearsPhilip Webster has worked his Sundara Gemstone Jewellery stall in Guildhall Hill for 25 years (Image: Maya Derrick)

"It's about striking a balance.

"This has been pedestrianised for the last 25 years so other streets don't matter so much to me. I'd rather that Tesco stayed open."

Charlie Emerson is a manager at the Wildman pub in Bedford Street, which has vehicular restrictions and is predominantly pedestrianised.

Norwich Evening News: James Christie and Charlie Emerson of the Wildman pub in Bedford Street, NorwichJames Christie and Charlie Emerson of the Wildman pub in Bedford Street, Norwich (Image: Maya Derrick)

"A fair amount of our business relies on people coming by on foot.

"We have a split of regulars knowing where we are and people coming across us by chance.

"I'd welcome more of Norwich city centre being pedestrianised. It's always busy.

"If people are more likely to come by and spend money, that's welcome news," he added.

High streets expert Valentine Quinio, senior analyst for Centre for Cities said that pedestrianising high streets brings a wide range of benefits - including in air quality, safety and health.

She explained: "Pedestrianising high streets is often a source of concern for businesses. It's contentious.

Norwich Evening News: Valentine Quinio of Centre for CitiesValentine Quinio of Centre for Cities (Image: Centre for Cities)

"What we're seeing in the UK and abroad is that pedestrianising high streets isn't just good for air pollution and traffic, it's also good for business.

"Concerns from businesses are valid but it shows that when there is investment in improving the urban and public realm, people simply enjoy spending time in the area - and because they spend more time they also spend more money.

"A number of places adopted pedestrianisation measures purely for social distancing and were supposed to be temporary, but a number of them have decided to make these changes permanent.

"It enables people to use the space in their city centre more than ever before.

"There's no ideal figure of how much of a city should be pedestrianised - but the success of the high street depends on it being accessible."