City centre streets to remain pedestrianised until June 2022

The barriers in place to restrict traffic in St Benedicts Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

St Benedict's Street and Exchange Street will remain closed to traffic until June next year. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Two busy city centre streets which have been pedestrianised since the pandemic started are set to remain closed to traffic until June next year.

St Benedict's Street and Exchange Street will only be accessible by pedestrians and cyclists after the temporary order which pedestrianised them was extended by the Department for Transport.

Due to work taking place at Grapes Hill roundabout, general traffic has been able to use Exchange Street as part of the necessary diversion route since September but it will close to traffic once again from tomorrow (November 30), when work is complete.

The road will be closed to all traffic other than cyclists between 10am and 5pm seven days a week, with only access and loading allowed at all other times.

Planters and barriers there previously will also be put back in place.

The current temporary status of St Benedict's Street between St Margaret's Street and Charing Cross which is set to continue, is a pedestrian and cycle zone, with loading and access allowed at any time.

Martin Wilby, Norwich City Council cabinet member for highways, said: “We had a fantastic response to our Norwich Lanes consultation in July and it’s important that we digest all the feedback, before making any decision on the long-term future of these important city streets.

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“By securing this extension, we can explore our options fully and make well-informed recommendations for approval to the joint committee next year.

"The focus will remain on the aims of the project, which is to make it safer and easier to get around on foot or by bike, to support outdoor hospitality and boost the local economy, and to improve air quality.”

Both streets were originally closed to traffic in order to make social distancing easier during lockdown restrictions.

The temporary orders were due to end next month but the county council applied for an extension to them while feedback on the city's roads and streets was being analysed.