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From the editor: Disruption has hit Norwich hard - I hope it's worth the pain

PUBLISHED: 10:21 14 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:21 14 August 2016

Norwich city roadworks.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich city roadworks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2016

You know the traffic and roadwork problems are bad in the city centre when you decide to run in because there's a decent chance it will be quicker and less of a hassle than taking the car.

But that’s exactly what I’ve found myself doing over recent months as those dreaded orange barriers and cones have popped up on what seems like every main route in and out of the city.

The benefit is that, because I live six miles away in Hethersett, it’s guaranteeing some decent exercise at least once or twice a week.

But the pursuit of running does also offer plenty of time to mull over the negative impact of the current traffic situation in and around Norwich.

My biggest concern is that Norwich is in grave danger of gaining a reputation as being an inaccessible city and one to avoid.

If that carries on it will be very detrimental to the city, its businesses and its people.

Already I’m hearing from the powers that be that the traffic works are having a direct impact on footfall to the city centre.

It is thought that some people are choosing to visit just once a week and get all of their tasks done in one go, whereas previously they might come in twice or even three times.

On the plus side, that might mean an extended trip and make it therefore more likely they need to pop into a restaurant for a meal and a rest.

But of more concern is that there’s less chance they will make impulse purchases and where they might normally stop off for coffee and cake on each of their three trips, two of those sales are likely now gone.

Of course it’s vital councils look to improve access in the city centre and make changes where they deem it necessary.

However if, at the end of it all, there has been no noticeable change, a lot of questions will be asked as to whether the scale of the disruption was really necessary.

It is, at least, good news to hear the roadworks will be put on hold during the vital Christmas period. No doubt our shopkeepers are feeling in need of something to cheer them up.

•If you have any news, views or feedback then please do drop me a line at david.powles@archant.co.uk

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