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Great Yarmouth to get one-way system for pedestrians

PUBLISHED: 15:59 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 07:04 05 June 2020

Great Yarmouth high street will look very different under new social distancing measures which will be introduced before June 1. Picture: Edward James, Historic England

Great Yarmouth high street will look very different under new social distancing measures which will be introduced before June 1. Picture: Edward James, Historic England

Historic England

One-way routes, messages sprayed onto pavements and barrier systems are part of a council masterplan to keep its shopping hotspots safe come June 15.

A one-way system and parking ban is coming to Gorleston High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA one-way system and parking ban is coming to Gorleston High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has unveiled detailed plans aimed at protecting pedestrian safety in the town centre, its busiest tourism hotspots and along Gorleston High Street.

In a statement, the council confirmed the plans are being executed by Norfolk County Council’s highways team on the borough’s behalf.

Over the next two weeks, messages will be temporarily sprayed onto pavements - and signs will ask that people keep to the left, staying two metres away from those not in their household.

Regent Street, Regent Road, King Street through to St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth High Street and seafront and Hemsby’s Beach road will all be subject to the “one-way, stay left” system. Business A-boards will not be permitted on the highway to increase space for pedestrians.

Signs reminding people about social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at Great Yarmouth's outdoor market which has reopened Picture: Liz CoatesSigns reminding people about social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at Great Yarmouth's outdoor market which has reopened Picture: Liz Coates

Council leader Carl Smith said that these temporary measures are “critical to public safety and our borough’s recovery” as the country looks ahead to the opening of non-essential retail and tourism later this month.

He added: “People are already used to staying left while driving and while taking the stairs and escalators, so we’re hoping most pedestrians will embrace these temporary changes, act sensibly and choose to stay left, stay two metres apart and queue responsibly for the safety of themselves and others.

“Together, we can stay safe, help to save the lives of residents, visitors and traders, and help businesses to reopen and trade safely as we move through this phased recovery. Over the weeks and months, we will monitor how people interact with the new system and make any necessary alterations. At this stage, no roads are being closed or pedestrianised.”

Elsewhere, parking will be suspended temporarily on the west side of the car park at Gorleston’s Lower Parade to help traders manage socially distanced queuing during peak season.

Shoppers visiting Gorleston High Street after June 15, 2020, will find a new self-distancing regime aimed at keeping people safe and stopping the spread of Covid-19 Picture: DENISE BRADLEYShoppers visiting Gorleston High Street after June 15, 2020, will find a new self-distancing regime aimed at keeping people safe and stopping the spread of Covid-19 Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Due to narrow pavements, parking in Gorleston High Street will also be suspended along the two narrowest stretches.

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At pinch point areas, such as the bus station, Regent Road and Temple Road interchange, a barrier system will keep pedestrians moving in the same direction.

Barriers in the Market Place will likewise provide a thoroughfare for pedestrians, with the businesses on either side responsible for managing socially-distanced queuing outside their own premises.

Great Yarmouth market was 'busier than expected' for trader Keith Barber, back at his pitch for the first time since lockdown on Wednesday June 3 Picture: Liz CoatesGreat Yarmouth market was 'busier than expected' for trader Keith Barber, back at his pitch for the first time since lockdown on Wednesday June 3 Picture: Liz Coates

Great Yarmouth’s rows will also become one way, starting in the Market Place at Market Row, with rows going east to west alternately from that row.

King Street’s rows will then run west to east from the most accessible row from the car park.

In terms of the six-day market, the council has already put markers on the floor, together with the provision of hand sanitiser at entrances. There is signage in place to encourage social distancing.

However, the layout of the two-day market is being altered slightly to widen the walkways between stalls, with a one-way system in place.

Alan Pitt had an enjoyable first day back on Great Yarmouth market on Wednesday June 3 after lockdown was lifted on Monday Picture: Liz CoatesAlan Pitt had an enjoyable first day back on Great Yarmouth market on Wednesday June 3 after lockdown was lifted on Monday Picture: Liz Coates

Recognising that people may need to spend longer in town than usual on account of queuing and the need to maintain distance, people will be able park for two hours for the price of one in King Street, Market Place and Brewery Plain car parks for three months beginning June 15.

The same rules apply to Gorleston High Street car park.

The funding for the plans comes from a £50m government package to be shared between local authorities for the purpose of safely “kickstarting” high-street trade.

Great Yarmouth specifically was awarded £80,000 to meet that goal.

As the town’s market re-opened earlier this week on June 1, traders said that business had been “better than expected”.

Meanwhile Kevin Huggins, chairman of the Gorleston Traders’ Association, said he supported the council in doing whatever they could to “get our high streets up and running again”.


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