City businesses say parking chaos is not just frustrating - but dangerous
- 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.
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.
"Half the time the bin lorry can't even get down the road. It's chaos.
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.
"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."