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Back the town's businesses

PUBLISHED: 15:46 21 March 2008 | UPDATED: 19:57 05 July 2010

LOWESTOFT businesses are hoping to encourage shoppers to move away from the stigma of heavy traffic and bascule bridge closures attached to coming into town.

LOWESTOFT businesses are hoping to encourage shoppers to move away from the stigma of heavy traffic and bascule bridge closures attached to coming into town.

James Bulstrode, manager of Coes Menswear, in Bevan Street, said last night it is easier to shop in Lowestoft than ever since work was completed by the Sunrise Scheme on the road network.

And with no more daytime closures set to affect the bridge, Mr Bulstrode was keen for apprehensive people to invest their faith back into the town.

He said: “I didn't think people were coming into Lowestoft because of the road works and the bascule bridge. The fact is it's easier to get into town now if people give it a go. The traffic flow is much smoother in this part of town than it used to be, the bottleneck is no longer there since the changes made to Katwijk Way.

“But I think there is so much negativity about, when actually it is so much quicker and easier to get around now.

“Business has been better and we are suffering as much as anyone, but we are hopeful now that since these weekend and daytime closures are a thing of the past, it will improve. We have got to say that the new road system has been a great success.”

Niki Conroy, who owns Match Clothing, also in Bevan Street echoed Mr Bulstrode's comments.

“With the parking being 30 minutes at a time here, you will always find a space and because of that turnover, parking is a lot easier.

“Bevan Street is a nice little place, with lots of independent shops and a café, but I think a lot of people still think the traffic is going to be bad when they come into town. When you look at the selection on the doorstep you don't have to travel 45 minutes and spend £10 to £15 on petrol and parking to shop in Norwich, when you can find the product of your choice here.”

David Willis, manager of the Oasis Christian Bookshop, said he hoped people could change their mentality, but accepted it was difficult to escape from what had been inbuilt in their minds.

He said the extra closures of the bascule bridge hadn't helped, but highlighted the huge potential of shopping facilities both in Bevan Street and the whole of Lowestoft.

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