This is how Lynn’s Saturday Market Place will look under £500,000 transformation plans that are expected to get under way in August.
Some residents in nearby historic streets remain opposed to the redevelopment despite amendments designed to address concerns that their roads could become traffic rat-runs. Nelson Street and Priory Road would both be blocked off to traffic except for access, under the new proposals.
West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney said: “Residents did raise concerns about traffic and I think that has been listened to. I think it’s entirely right that these roads are not used as through roads and this will prevent that.
“To increase pedestrian use of that whole area is a constructive thing. That area is absolutely my favourite part of King’s Lynn and it badly needs more people to be aware of it and to enjoy it.
“I think now is absolutely the right time to be making investments to increase the vibrancy of that area.”
Under the proposals, Saturday Market Place and St Margaret’s Place will still become one-way, though plans to change the direction of travel along College Lane between the courts and Thoresby College have been shelved.
The pavement in front of the town hall will be made wider to create seating areas outside Market Bistro and The Wenns and the car park will be reduced by 11 spaces.
Following the consultation, the number of materials to be used for paving have been reduced and a plan to allow cyclists to travel contra-flow along Saturday Market Place has been scrapped.
Ann Phillips, of Nelson Street, said: “No entry except for access doesn’t mean anything because nobody is going to monitor it. These roads will still be used as a rat-run.
“The whole thing seems over-the-top to me. The area could do with a tidy up but this is public money that is being spent and how many sustainable jobs are being created through it? None.”
Ms Phillips did not support the recent £1 million transformation of Tuesday Market Place where parking was reduced to create space for ‘cafe culture’ dining areas and believes the Saturday Market Place plan is along the same lines.
She is also concerned about the wisdom of narrowing the carriageway at the top of Church Street, near to St James Street where traffic will still be two-way. Mr Daubney said it was a recognised traffic calming measure.
Results of the recent consultation over the plans show that more respondents liked the plans overall and the one-way traffic element than did not like them.
* Traders in Saturday Market Place feared diversion signs to direct traffic around the street, which is closed this week for gas works, were harming trade.
Norfolk County Council has installed extra “business as usual” signs, but will continue to divert traffic leaving Baker Lane car park to the right, towards King Street, as there is no through-route for cars that turn left, though Saturday Market Place car park is still open.
Kevin Player, of Kevin Player and Co, in nearby St James Street, said: “From the library end it was not clear at all that you could still access St James Street.”
The road is due to be closed until Friday and temporary traffic lights are due to be in place for a fortnight after that.