Norwich traffic nears pre-pandemic levels as people feel happy to return
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
Traffic levels in Norwich are nearing pre-pandemic levels, as more people return to offices and non-essential businesses are trading once more.
Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich's Business Improvement District (BID), said vehicle movements had increased dramatically since restrictions were eased around April 12.
Norfolk County Council figures also reveal that as of May 5 this year the seven-day rolling average traffic levels were just 5pc lower when compared to May 2019. In March this year the levels were 17pc lower than in March 2019.
Mr Gurney added that school run trips and office workers returning to the city had added to the traffic and he was expecting vehicle numbers to go up even further after May 17.
He said: "To have the city starting to reopen is positive from an economic perspective. We know there has been an increase in public transport use but not to the same level as what it was pre-pandemic."
The executive director added that numbers of vehicles remained high across the day, rather than just at traditional peak morning and early evening times, which reflected people's flexible working arrangements post-lockdown.
David Jordan, marketing manager at First Eastern Counties buses, said; “With schools, retail, hospitality and other businesses opening up, we are noticing an increase in traffic at busy times of the day as well as extra demand across many of our services, as we continue to adhere to the government guidelines on social distancing."
Chris Harvey, ABC Taxis marketing manager, said: "Traffic has picked up to what it was pre-lockdown. The amount of journeys we are doing now is a reflection of people going out. We didn't expect business to come back as quickly as it has."
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He said the firm did 21,600 journeys last week compared to the 25,000 and 26,000 it carried out on an average week before the pandemic.
Maryanne Moles, co-founder of Norwich Urban Collective, which delivers food and drink from independent businesses, said the levels of traffic had changed "significantly" over the past few weeks.
"It is pretty manic," she added.