Bid to cut 'rat-running traffic' in Shrewsbury neighbourhoods

Two areas of Shrewsbury could be made into 'liveable neighbourhoods' to remove 'rat-running traffic' cutting through streets to and from the town centre, under council plans.

Copthorne Road in Shrewsbury could see some changes. Photo: Google
Copthorne Road in Shrewsbury could see some changes. Photo: Google

Residents in the Porthill and Copthorne areas are being asked whether Shropshire Council should implement the plans in the two areas for a trial period of up to 18 months.

A liveable neighbourhood aims to make streets safer and more appealing for residents, cyclists and pedestrians.

A public engagement exercise has launched to allow people to have a say on the proposals, and runs until November 1.

It comes after residents have raised concerns relating to the high volumes of rat-running traffic cutting through neighbourhood streets to gain access to and from the town centre.

A liveable neighbourhood would put measures such as ‘modal filters’ in the form of bollards or wooden planters at one end of a road to close it to through traffic.

The area of Copthorne that would be covered by the trial

A 20mph speed limit across the area is proposed for both liveable neighbourhoods as well as traffic calming and additional crossing points on Copthorne Road, and ‘bus only’ through-access on Woodfield Road.

‘Pocket parks’ or ‘parklets’ – temporary seating areas placed on street corners or in parking spaces – are also a common feature of liveable neighbourhoods.

They aim to slow traffic as well as provide additional greenery and a place for people to sit outdoors and socialise.

Residents of both areas would still be able to access their properties, and emergency and delivery vehicles would also be able to access the area.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said: “A liveable neighbourhood for these areas will not only reduce the impact of noise and air pollution caused by vehicles using these roads as rat-runs.

"It will also make the streets safer and more pleasant to use, providing more opportunities for people to be active and for children to walk and cycle to school independently.

“We really hope people will take time to consider the proposals and tell us what they think.”

Julian Dean, Shropshire councillor for Porthill, urged residents in the area to have their say.

The area of Porthill that would be covered by the trial

"We will be out and about to discuss the idea and progress will depend on your views," he said.

"At present our streets work best for car journeys but most residents do at least some of their journeys by foot, bicycle or bus, and many – young and old – don’t use cars at all. The layout of our streets should reflect that.”

Rob Wilson, Shropshire councillor for Copthorne, added: “Many residents have taken the time to let me know about their concerns around the increasing volume and speed of traffic in our area.

"The liveable neighbourhood approach has been very successful elsewhere in the country, and I am pleased that it is being brought to Shropshire.

"I hope that this is the beginning of looking at our neighbourhood streets differently, and that there will be the opportunity to apply the same principles in other areas in the future.”

Feedback will be used alongside data from traffic surveys to help understand whether people support the idea, and if so, what suggested measures they would like to see put in place.

If supported, all feedback received will be incorporated into two designs which will be consulted on in the late autumn.

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