Big changes as £2.5m Tombland revamp starts
PUBLISHED: 18:18 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:18 10 August 2020
Tombland would normally be a busy place, with cars, buses and cycles jostling for space with shoppers - and tourists milling about enjoying the August heatwave among the trees and in the shadow of the magnificent cathedral.
But on Monday, the scene was different. Much of the traffic was gone, and the machines had moved in, at the start of a major roadworks project.
Phase one of a seven-month project to create more pedestrian- and cycle-friendly routes in the area began on Monday, August 10, in the searing summer heat.
The works, funded by £2.5m from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund, aims to increase facilities and access for cyclists and pedestrians, improve bus journey times and enhance the area.
But in order to carry it out there are major temporary changes, the most noticeable being the road’s closure to all southbound traffic, heading towards Prince of Wales Road.
Also difficult to miss was the noise – the usual rumbling of traffic was much less obvious with vehicles only allowed to travel in one direction, but this was instead replaced by the din of workmen setting up bollards and safety equipment.
Many of the owners of the shops on the Norwich street have already expressed their concerns over the works, with Paul Brown of Hiz-Hair criticising the timing of the project with the city “already struggling” in the aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown.
READ MORE: All the details of roadworks in Tombland and Upper King Street
Emily Jupp, of neighbouring Milly J Shoes, said she too was concerned about the impact on footfall in the area and was worried about dirt and dust from the work coming into her shop.
She was more optimistic about what the works would do for the area in the long run, and believed the upgrades would be “great for the tourism side of things” and “make Tombland a destination that people will really want to come to, which will be great for all the businesses around here”.
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