'Overwhelming' support for reducing cars in Shrewsbury town centre

Nearly 80 per cent of people support reducing the number of vehicles driving through Shrewsbury town centre, according to a survey.

A survey suggests residents are supportive of a more pedestrian-friendly Shrewsbury town centre
A survey suggests residents are supportive of a more pedestrian-friendly Shrewsbury town centre

The Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce has completed a review of the temporary traffic measures implemented since the Covid-19 outbreak - and has made a series of recommendations for longer term measures.

Detailed discussions have been taking place with businesses and residents, along with a survey which received more than 1,400 responses, about how people access and move around Shrewsbury town centre.

Through-traffic has been restricted from travelling up Wyle Cop and along High Street allow more space for social distancing in recent months.

Those vehicle restrictions have been lifted during the current lockdown, but are planned to be reinstated 11am-4pm when businesses are allowed to reopen.

Resident in the Town Walls area were critical of the diversion, saying it was disruptive and dangerous.

However, the taskforce says it has undertaken research including a survey, to investigate longer-term ways of reducing traffic without causing adverse impact to the area.

Councillor Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, said: “The last few months have enabled us to gather vital information and feedback about how closing High Street and Wyle Cop to incoming vehicles has impacted on the town centre.

“The work undertaken by Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce has involved conversations with residents and businesses, and Shropshire Council as Highways Authority will continue to work closely with partners to consider next steps.

“Making Shrewsbury easier to access and more enjoyable to move around is one of the biggest opportunities as we continue our recovery.”

Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, said: “To get nearly 1,500 responses to the survey in such a short period of time was great, and there was a very clear consensus - some 79 per cent - who were either supportive or very supportive of measures to greatly reduce traffic in our town centre.

“So it seems clear that we must give pedestrians priority in the town centre by removing all but essential traffic, to the benefit of Shrewsbury residents, visitors and businesses alike. Any plans will provide easy access for those with a disability, delivery access and will greatly encourage active travel.

“There is an expectation that improvements to public transport will complement these aspirations."

Kevin Lockwood, vice-chair of Shrewsbury BID said: “The movement survey showed a clear majority of businesses support measures to reduce through traffic and create a more pedestrian friendly town centre.

“The evidence from government and our industry partners is that the vitality of town centres is increasingly linked to the quality of the experience.

"We need to do all we can to make the town centre appealing for locals and visitors to come and spend their time and money in Shrewsbury.”

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