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Your verdict on Market Place car ban

PUBLISHED: 15:17 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:31 07 July 2010

Three quarters of Dereham Times readers have said they would like to see cars banned from the town's historic Market Place, a poll has revealed.

Readers went online and came into our High Street office in their droves to say if they would like the Market Place pedestriaised.

Three quarters of Dereham Times readers have said they would like to see cars banned from the town's historic Market Place, a poll has revealed.

Readers went online and came into our High Street office in their droves to say if they would like the Market Place pedestriaised.

And it was a resounding yes.

Despite some suspected tampering with the online poll, an overall average of about 75pc voted in favour of pedestrianisation.

About 2,000 voted online, with 73pc in favour and of the 39 people who voted in our High Street office, 89pc voted yes.

Town resident Trevor Wood, who reignited the car banning debate at the town's annual meeting two weeks ago, this week submitted his own solution pedestrianisation and to where to put a new bus interchange.

Colin Chambers, president of Dereham Society, which has campaigned to bring the market back to Market Place, supported the call for pedestrianisation and said: “It is a market town, let's have the market where it should be.”

Mr Wood said: “The bus spaces in Market Place could be transferred to just outside the Memorial Hall,” he said.

“With this part of Norwich Street one way, buses would be able to travel onwards in every direction from the Matsell Way junction.

“This could be achieved at minimal cost and with very little road disruption.”

And it would mean Market Place could be pedestrianised and the markets could return to their historic home, he said.

John Gretton, mayor of Dereham Town Council, had invited people's ideas on the Market Place at the annual meeting two weeks ago.

Yesterday he said he would look forward to seeing Mr Wood's idea.

He added: “I have asked our town clerk to research, nation wide, what pedestrianisation schemes had been success and failures.

“The poll will be taken as part of our research.”

Celia Sutton, web manager for Archant Norfolk, which runs the DerehamTimes24 website, said tampering with web polls was rare but it did appear there had been some 'fiddling' in this case.

“However since the first incident, when the votes shot up to several hundred in a couple of hours, a large number of votes have been posted for the Yes option - bringing the total votes cast to nearly 2,000, with 73pc in favour."

The county council's last position on the planned bus interchange at Market Place was for work to start in 2008/9 following a consultation later this year. It would see buses coming up High Street to the interchange.

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