Meeting as residents hit out at Bishop's Castle social distancing traffic measures

Residents and business owners in Bishop's Castle have criticised new traffic and parking changes that the local authority is implementing under a trial scheme to aid social distancing.

Bishop's Castle High St towards the town hall
Bishop's Castle High St towards the town hall

As part of the scheme, street parking will be replaced with time-restricted bays with double yellow lines, and a one-way downhill system is also proposed for the High Street.

A meeting will be held next week at the Castle Hotel in Bishop's Castle to discuss the issues.

Miranda Stanley, a business owner in the town, said that despite it being a trial, visitors may come and not like it, and decide not to come back.

"The High Street is the joy of Bishop's Castle," she said. "Someone said it is only a trial, it can go back. But what about the visitors who come and find double yellow lines and traffic wardens and nowhere to park.

"They might not come back and won't tell their friends to come either."

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Under the trial scheme, double yellow lines will be painted to the Market Square and at the top of the High Street, and on junctions on Church Street and Church Lane. They will also be painted opposite the Spar and the petrol station.

A downhill one-way system is also proposed on the High Street with a revised priority to give way on Church Street.

Miranda said the town only has one small car park, which is closed on Thursdays, and so there is nowhere for people to park if not on the street.

"Almost everyone who lives here in the town are not only residents, but business owners who live above their shops," she added. "My husband and I own three properties on Market Square and let out others.

"We can't usually park in front of our house but that is what we expect, because we chose to live there. Where are visitors and shoppers supposed to park? The town also serves a lot of outside visitors from nearby villages who come to do their shopping here.

"It is crazy and to make a one-way system downhill with no parking will be a race track. There are not many places like Bishop's Castle left. It will be the death of it.

"It is tough for business owners at the best of times, especially after Covid-19, they don't want this on top of everything else. It's just another thing where you have things imposed without proper consultation and without asking for it. It could change the whole style of the town."

Steve Brown, Shropshire Council’s interim assistant director of infrastructure and communities, said: "We have sent proposals for social distancing in Bishop’s Castle for consideration to assist in supporting the local economy and public safety.

"The measures proposed mirror those successfully implemented and well received in other towns across Shropshire; and of course any proposed measures need to be refined in discussion with local representatives."

The meeting will be held at 11am on Monday, June 29, at the Castle Hotel in Market Square.

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