Businesses give new Norwich one-way system thumbs up

Businesses along St Augustine's Street in Norwich are hoping good times lie ahead now that the street's gyratory scheme is near completion.

Work on the �3.3m project to improve the street started in January last year and was delayed last year due to problems with gas main replacements and the wintry weather, but it's now in its final stages, and businesses are noticing trade picking up.

St Augustine's is now one-way northbound, with a new link between Edward Street and Pitt Street providing a new southbound route, via Magpie Road, for traffic heading towards the inner ring road and the city centre.

Andre Cappuccio, who runs Trends Hair Salon in the street with his wife Cherry, said: 'Some people are still unsure about how the road works, but it's definitely for the better and trade is improving.

'The new pavements are nice and wide and much more pedestrian friendly. We have not yet picked up trade to the level it was before, but hopefully that will come and a few little problems will be ironed out in the spring.'

Stuart McLaren, secretary of St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association, said the general feeling was that the street had been improved.

He said: 'It's early stages but generally it's approved of. There are a few problems we want to talk to the council about. 'People are puzzled about the locations of the pelican crossings in the scheme, which don't seem to be where you expect them to be. We are also disappointed that a row of trees originally in the plans won't now be planted in the street.'

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Norfolk County Council spokesman John Birchall said work on the scheme, which was designed to be compatible with plans to redevelop the Anglia Square shopping centre, and contribute to the regeneration of the northern city centre, was in its final stages.

He said: 'All the main elements are now complete, including landscaping and planting, but there is still some minor work to tidy up and deal with minor snags, for example blocks that have loosened.

'Further refinement of the traffic light timings will be going on, but by and large it is working well and we have received a number of enthusiastic compliments from drivers.

'The leaders of Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council, Steve Morphew and Derrick Murphy respectively, will be taken on a completion tour, on March 18.'

A new antique shop has recently opened next to Wallace King Interiors, which is a sign of confidence in the new-look street.

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