New Shrewsbury town centre pedestrianisation trial to be considered

A second trial for the part-pedestrianisation of Shrewsbury town centre is to be considered by cabinet chiefs next month.

Shrewsbusy town centre could be pedestrianised again. Photo: Shrewsbury BID
Shrewsbusy town centre could be pedestrianised again. Photo: Shrewsbury BID

The previous experimental traffic order in the town centre was lifted on September 1 - two months ahead of the original end date of October 31 - after complaints from hospitality traders, as well as beleaguered disabled people and delivery drivers who faced access and parking issues.

However Shrewsbury Bid, a collective of leaders in the business community, called on Shropshire Council to re-introduce a weekend closure trial as well as other measures.

The new plans will be presented to cabinet in October for consideration, and it is also anticipated that other trials may take place in the near future, including an ‘access only’ and low traffic neighbourhood scheme for Town Walls.

Under the proposals, Milk Street will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays to all traffic from 11am to 5pm, and The Square will be closed to all traffic every day from 11am to 5pm.

Wyle Cop (uphill), High Street and Shoplatch will be closed to all traffic on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 5pm.

The intended dates for those closures will be from October 25 until the end of January next year.

The closures – and related traffic information – will be advertised using the new variable message signs.

Additional parking provision for people with disabilities will be provided during the trial.

Ahead of the weekend closures, Shropshire Council’s transport services and Shrewsbury BID will be working with town centre traders and representatives from disability groups, public transport organisations and residents groups to address concerns raised about the earlier trial.

The first pedestrianisation trial ended two months early

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We paused the previous trial at the end of August to allow us to consider all feedback, to review the measures with Shrewsbury BID, and decide if any changes need to be added to the measures that were in place.

“Now that we’ve had the opportunity to do that I’m pleased that we can now put in place a new trial – subject to cabinet approval, which takes into account and addresses the positive and negative comments received previously.

“Our aim is to create the best possible environment for the town centre and its businesses to prosper, and to make it more cyclist-friendly and pedestrian-friendly."

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “The past 18 months have demonstrated considerable benefits of a traffic-free environment, with over 80 per cent of businesses saying they would like to see some form of a pedestrian-friendly scheme in place permanently.

“The atmosphere in the town centre has been fantastic, particularly on weekends, with visitors, diners and shoppers able to enjoy the extra space available, so this is very welcome news.

“We are in regular dialogue with Shropshire Council and will continue to engage with businesses, disability groups and partners on this new scheme; and welcome news of a low traffic neighbourhood on Town Walls being trialled in the near future.”

The initial trial measures were introduced in July.

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