WISBECH: Council shock proposals to exclude motorists from Market Place
EXCLUSIVE By John Elworthy FENLAND Council is set to bring to an end years of indecision over the future of Wisbech Market Place by opting for total pedestrianisation. Senior Cabinet members-led by council leader Geoff Harper and his deputy Fred Yeulett-
By John Elworthy
FENLAND Council is set to bring to an end years of indecision over the future of Wisbech Market Place by opting for total pedestrianisation.
Senior Cabinet members-led by council leader Geoff Harper and his deputy Fred Yeulett- are prepared to risk the wrath of Wisbech town councillors by forcing through the controversial scheme. If approved the scheme would probably be trialled for two to three years with a view to it being made permanent if traders and shoppers embrace the traffic free centre.
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A discussion paper circulated among the Conservative controlled council- and seen by the Wisbech Standard- highlights the advantages of full pedestrianisation.
The paper says it would mean:
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n pedestrian zone for the entire area including High Street, Hill Street, Market Street and Market Place
n no parking on central market place area
n permitted exceptions only to be for deliveries, residents, market traders emergency and services vehicles
n deliveries to be time limited for loading and unloading
n disabled parking, for the first time, would be excluded within this zone with extra provision made available on nearby streets and car parks.
Control measures to be introduced by the council would include rising bollards and barriers linked to CCTV on High Street and Hill Street. Residents would have a swipe card.
Banning cars "removes confusion regarding access" says the report now being studied by Cabinet.
Obstacles to overcome include ensuring vehicles are removed prior to market days but the benefits could include much greater use of the market square for events, activities and what the council calls "café culture- vitality and vibrancy."
Councillors will be eager to debate the new proposals but it could be as soon as June before a decision is taken.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Write to the editor, email@example.com and let us know if you will back the council's pedestrianisation plan.