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Businesses 'back one-way street'

PUBLISHED: 16:38 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:28 03 July 2010

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Borough councillor Bert Collins says the majority of businesses would support a one-way Gorleston High Street

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Borough councillor Bert Collins says the majority of businesses would support a one-way Gorleston High Street

Laura Bagshaw

GORLESTON High Street could be made one-way - with more than 80pc of local shopkeepers in favour of the move.

Tory borough councillor Bert Collins, who represents Gorleston ward, canvassed local opinion on the controversial issue and said the majority of businesses would support such a scheme.

GORLESTON High Street could be made one-way - with more than 80pc of local shopkeepers in favour of the move.

Tory borough councillor Bert Collins, who represents Gorleston ward, canvassed local opinion on the controversial issue and said the majority of businesses would support such a scheme.

His comments were made during the area liaison meeting for Gorleston, held at Lynn Grove High School on Monday evening.

Local conservation group START suggested buses should be given priority in the High Street in a bid to ease congestion problems.

Conservative councillor Graham Plant, cabinet member for regeneration and tourism, said the county council, which looks after highways, had been investigating ways to improve the High Street,

with one option making the road one-way.

However, Mr Plant said the

council would have to be careful in proposing a one-way system because short-stay parking bays on the roadside could be lost under such a scheme.

He said: “There is quite frequent turnover with those parking bays and I would not like to see them go. Those shops are the lifeblood of the town centre and rely on those spaces for custom.

“The problem we have on the High Street is lorries and buses getting stuck.”

Mr Collins agreed and said:

“You have cars parked one side of

the road, a lorry unloading on the other and then a bus tries to get through!”

Labour councillor Brian Walker, of Magdalen ward, challenged Mr Collins' comments about the popularity of a one-way scheme.

He said: “A few years ago a similar scheme was put forward by the county council but businesses were overwhelmingly against it.”

However Mr Collins replied that scheme had been six years ago and most of the businesses have changed hands.

The issue of speeding was also raised during the meeting by resident Pauline Dodd, who said

drivers regularly speed along High Road, with some even crashing into buildings.

She asked councillors what more they could do to prevent speeding in the town.

“The police say they have done

speed checks and the average is 21mph but I can assure you they travel a

lot faster than that,” she told councillors.

Council leader Barry Coleman said it was a police issue but sympathised with Mrs Dodd's concerns. He

added: “In the parish which I represent we've had cars hit two houses within three months and people there are saying the same thing. I accept the perception of speed being faster than it actually is, even so there does seem to be problems with speeding in specific areas.”

Bernard Williamson, Labour councillor for Claydon ward, said High Road and the High Street were used as a “rat run” by drivers, and that a one-way system in the High Street could help the problem.

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