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All traffic could be banned from Mere Street during the day

Mere Street in Diss. Picture Chris Morris
Mere Street in Diss. Picture Chris Morris

Town councillors are to look into the possibility of further restricting access to vehicles on Mere Street in Diss following safety concerns and reports of speeding.

Diss Town Council considered the proposal to restrict access at its infrastructure committee meeting on Wednesday and resolved to progress the matter with Norfolk County Council.

A report said: “Mere Street is used as a rat-run with reports of speeding frequent and traffic sign contravention.

"This becomes a safety hazard for pedestrians.

"Some market towns have a timed pedestrian only road and market place.

“This is where the restriction is from 10am to 6pm, during which time no vehicle traffic is permitted to enter and, in most cases, the road entrance has a barrier to enforce the prohibition.

“This means that entrance for loading and unloading to the shops must take place before 10am and this would also apply to members of the public wishing to collect goods from premises within the restriction.

“It does, however, impose a much safer pedestrian environment and it could still run with existing restricted access outside these times to ensure it does not become a rat-run.

“The local police are keen to support such a proposal given that traffic sign contravention is a ‘found committing’ offence, meaning a police officer in uniform must stop the offending driver and deal with the matter at the time.

“The chairman of this committee recalls that the county council would view this scheme favourably.

"Given the impending Wetherspoon development and eventual removal of this car park, it is deemed an appropriate time to consider the potential pedestrianisation of Mere Street.

“As well as the obvious safety benefits, it should have other knock-on pluses, such as improving footfall for businesses, which, in turn, may encourage improvements to shop fronts.”

This story appears in the current edition of the Diss Express, out today (February 1)

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