Wrangle over road closures at Norwich City Football Club

The question of who should foot the bill to close streets around Norwich City’s Carrow Road ground on matchdays has left football club bosses locked in talks with the county council.

A long-awaited ban on traffic near the football stadium was introduced just before the derby clash with Ipswich Town and will continue for 18 months.

That ban came after months of discussions ended in an agreement that action needed to be taken to keep the 26,000 fans who head to Carrow Road home games safe.

For many years the roads were closed on matchdays, but that had ceased following the club’s relegation to League One.

But with the Canaries back in the Championship, Norfolk County Council is paying the �1,000 bill of closing the roads for each match, with the club’s view that it is responsible for safety on its own property. However, the county council has given the club notice that it will seek to recover the costs and discussions are still going on between the football club and officers at County Hall.

But, ultimately, officers might resort to asking the council’s cabinet to start legal proceedings to get the money back.

John Birchall, spokesman for Norfolk County Council, said: “The temporary traffic management associated with the match day road closure currently costs around �1,000 per match.

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“It would be possible to follow a legal route for cost recovery, but it is unhelpful to speculate about that at the moment since we prefer to reach an agreement through continuing discussions taking place with the club on this and other matters.”

A spokesman for Norwich City Football Club said: “Commercial matters such as this remain confidential but the club is pleased to reiterate that we have an excellent working relationship with Norfolk County Council.”

Under the ban, on matchdays Carrow Road is closed from its junction with Koblenz Avenue to its junction with Kerrison Road, between 1.30pm and 5.20pm, and from its junction with King Street to its junction with Clarence Road, between 4.50pm and 5.20pm.

Other nearby streets are also being closed at certain times, while different times are in place for evening games.

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