City businesses say parking chaos is not just frustrating - but dangerous

A lorry struggled to get past parked cars on St Benedict's Street on Wednesday, September 8

A lorry struggled to get past parked cars on St Benedict's Street on Wednesday, September 8 - Credit: Mark Hedge

Businesses on a busy city centre street say traffic chaos isn't just a frustration for restaurants and retailers — it's now getting dangerous. 

Mark Hedge, who runs Cookes Band Instruments on St Benedict's Street, said cars covering pavements by parking on double-yellow lines and loading bays were becoming a hazardous daily occurrence.

Only today he said a lorry driver just about managed to squeeze down the road after becoming nosed in between the al fresco buildouts and illegally parked cars.

Parking in St Benedict's Street has become a big issue since metered bays were removed

Parking in St Benedict's Street has become a big issue since metered bays were removed - Credit: Mark Hedge

Cars parked up on St Benedict's Street last week

Cars parked up on St Benedict's Street last week - Credit: Mark Hedge

He said: "Luckily the lorry driver was able to find the owner of the car.

"But generally drivers are making it difficult for people to do their job, and challenging for emergency services.

"Norwich City Council has made all these changes but isn't policing the street."


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The council was approached for comment.

Helen Shepherd, owner of Sinsins Boutique, said she was "really keen" on the proposed pedestrianisation changes when they were announced — but now regrets it.

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She explained: "The council took away the meters because they said the car parking spaces that used to be there would be used as loading bays only.

"But now the meters are gone, all day every day people use the loading bays like they are their own personal parking slots.

"I've seen so many near misses because the cars park so high on the pavement people have to move onto the road and step into oncoming traffic. There's hardly any room for pedestrians anymore. It's dangerous.

New owner Helen Shepherd outside Sin Sins Boutique of Love in St Benedicts Street Credit: Louisa Bal

Owner Helen Shephard outside Sinsins Boutique on St Benedict's Street - Credit: Archant

"Half the time the bin lorry can't even get down the road. It's chaos.

"The wardens have vanished right when we need them."

Richard Bainbridge, owner of Benedicts Restaurant, said because of the zig-zag lines outside his shop the council only permitted the installation of three outdoor tables, in order to maintain pedestrian access.

He said: "That area of the road is supposed to be kept free, but we just get taxis sitting with their engines running right outside our restaurant.

Richard Bainbridge outside Benedicts in Norwich. The restaurant holds three AA Rosettes.

Richard Bainbridge outside Benedicts in Norwich. The restaurant holds three AA Rosettes. - Credit: Denise Bradley

"They park there to pick people up and blow big black fumes into my customers' faces. 

"It would certainly make it easier for us if the council would enforce the changes they've made."

Mr Bainbridge said people were parking on the zig zag lines - which he was told he had to keep free

Mr Bainbridge said people were parking on the zig zag lines - which he was told he had to keep free - Credit: Google


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