‘It’s definitely improved’ - Businesses speak of relief as main road reopens
PUBLISHED: 15:26 05 August 2020
Businesses in a market town have spoken of their relief after the reopening of a road through it brought an increase in customers.
Norwich Street in Fakenham was reopened on July 24 after the town council decided shoppers are used to social distancing.
This came after it was closed on July 6 in support of North Norfolk District Council’s You Are Welcome campaign.
The initiative introduced social distancing measures by closing the street from Monday to Saturday, from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
However, some businesses voiced concern over the closure after they saw a drop in footfall.
Janis Greenaway, the owner of The Larder, a food shop in the town, said that customers were seeing the road closure signs and deciding to drive on to Wells.
However, she is now very pleased as the road opening has encouraged more people to come into town.
“It’s definitely improved for us”, she said.
“I think the road being opened has encouraged people into town. I think when they saw the closed road signs, they thought ‘I will just go somewhere else’.
“But now we have got people back walking around and looking in the shop windows.
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“The more people we can encourage into town the better, especially at the moment.”
This was echoed by Sheenah Alexander-Parsby, owner of Secrets, a clothing boutique.
She said when the road was closed that it “killed trade-off, and has quieted the street down”.
But since the reopening, she has noticed more cars, and an increase with holidaymakers in the town who are driving past the window, parking up and taking a look.
However, she said that the increased trade has only been a slight improvement for her own trade, saying nothing major has happened.
Kyle Brown, owner of Premier Beds and Furnishings said he was mixed over the road closure.
He said it was good to stop cars parking on the road.
But, it stopped footfall and he felt the road became “dead”.
He did say that he has seen an increase in people walking down the street but despite the rise in footfall, that the town is still quiet.
Mr Brown believes this has nothing to do with the road.
He added that he feels people are still unsure about the safety and lack the confidence due to the uncertainty around the coronavirus.
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