WISBECH: Rising bollards may help resolve the issue of what to do with Market Place
EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY BRING on the bollards was the rallying cry of Fenland District Council last night as they opted to return the Market Place to pedestrians. The ruling Conservative fought out the battle in private, before going public with the
By JOHN ELWORTHY
BRING on the bollards was the rallying cry of Fenland District Council last night as they opted to return the Market Place to pedestrians.
The ruling Conservative fought out the battle in private, before going public with the decision to ban all bar essential traffic from the Market Place.
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Rising bollards will block motorists gaining access and these will be controlled by CCTV operators and there will be one exit only, into Church Terrace, over bollards that lower automatically.
Cabinet approved the strategy which is virtually certain of being approved by the Fenland Area Joint Committee in January before going out for public debate.
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Fenland Council's resolve to end the decades old squabble over the Market Place should now unlock cash support from the county council to pay for the improvements.
It is likely that residents will be issued with an access fob but delivery drivers and others requiring access will use an intercom to speak to the CCTV control room who will then lower the bollards remotely.
Council Leader Geoff Harper conceded it had been a long process "but we are confident we are moving forward with the right decision."
Cllr Harper won approval for the scheme after Cabinet rejected four other options - one of which had included allowing traffic to continue to use the Market Place.
Sandra Claxton, the council's deputy chief executive, outlined the background and explained that a working group had come together to finalise a range of options.
"Members of the committee acknowledged that it was important to resolve the matter in order to avoid losing the funding earmarked for the scheme," she said,
"Members also acknowledged that there were genuinely held differences of opinion within Wisbech about the best solution to the issue."
Technically the district council does not have the final say, but since they own the Market Square they are in the driving seat.
Access, physical controls, parking, safety of users, and impact on the community market and events were all in the remit of the district council, Cabinet was told.