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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 10:42 GMT
Night traffic ban at trouble spot
A road in the centre of Carlisle is to be closed to traffic on weekend nights in a bid to reduce disorder.

For the next year and a half, only emergency vehicles will be allowed onto a stretch of Botchergate on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Police say there has been trouble there in the past, with thousands of pub and club-goers crammed into a small area.

The closure runs from The Crescent to Tait Street and also affects parts of Mary Street and Portland Place.

Buses will be re-routed during the experimental scheme, which will run from 17 January for 18 months.

During that time, restrictions will be in place from 2100 until 0500 GMT.

Enjoyable experience

Insp Andy Shaddock, from Cumbria Police, said there had been a shift in the city's night-time economy to a concentrated area on Botchergate, leading to thousands of people in the area between those times.

He said: "This has led to trouble, and if we can take off some of the pressures we will hopefully remove some of the problems.

"There has also been a number of traffic accidents, well above the average for a street of this nature, because of people spilling out into the road.

"What we want to do is remove the traffic, to make it safer and a more enjoyable experience for people."

The introduction of the scheme has twice been delayed as council workers erecting the gates to block the road had to deal with problems caused by the wintry weather.

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