Councillors pledge to listen over Shrewsbury High Street plan

Councillors have insisted that they will listen to the public response over plans which could see a major Shrewsbury town centre street pedestrianised.

SHREWS COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 08/08/2019 - Photos of Shrewsbury - Wyle Cop Shrewsbury.
SHREWS COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 08/08/2019 - Photos of Shrewsbury - Wyle Cop Shrewsbury.

Shropshire Council is extending temporary changes to High Street and Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury, which were brought in for social distancing purposes, and then to encourage people to come back and visit the town as lockdown has eased.

The proposals were expected to come to an end when restrictions were lifted but the council has decided to keep them in place while it consults on whether people would like to see the changes implemented permanently.

Under the arrangement Wyle Cop – uphill – and High Street will be closed to all traffic between 11am and 4pm on weekends, and closed to all traffic other than buses, taxis and cyclists between 11am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Milk Street and the southeast side of The Square will also be closed to traffic from 11am to 4pm every day.

Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council's cabinet member for highways, pledged that they will listen to people's feelings over the plan.

He said: "This is by no means a final step in traffic management for Shrewsbury but a step in the process. We want to hear feedback from businesses and residents on if this feels right.

"It is designed to take cars and traffic out of Shrewsbury and push it to the outer ring road – or if we had a North West Relief Road, to the relief Road."

He added: "People say 'it is a done deal, what's the good of feedback', but we want feedback, it is completely new and it is important we get this right."

The matter will be considered by Shropshire Council's cabinet on Wednesday.

The plan has proved controversial with residents of Town Walls particularly, but a report prepared for the cabinet indicates a level of support shown in some surveys.

It states: "It is recognised that formalising pedestrianisation of High Street would be a significant and material change to how the town operates and functions.

"Surveys carried out over the past year indicate there is some support from businesses and the public to retain some of the measures introduced through social distancing.

"The recent Big Town Plan consultation further underlined the consensus for reducing through traffic in the town centre. The Town Council and Business Improvement District are supportive of the proposed experimental order and formal consultation in the autumn."

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