Traders to launch survey on impact of Alnwick pedestrianisation on nearby Bondgate Within

Alnwick retailers are planning to carry out their own survey of local businesses to assess the impact of a pedestrianisation trial.

Friday, 6th March 2020, 6:00 am

The survey seeking feedback on the Narrowgate pedestrianisation scheme will be conducted by Alnwick Chamber of Trade.

Members have decided to take action because Northumberland County Council has not published the results of its own survey carried out last autumn, although it was labelled ‘inconclusive’ in a report to town councillors in January.

“We all know it’s having a massive impact,” said Lisa Aynsley, chairman of the Chamber of Trade.

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Bondgate Within, Alnwick. Picture: Google

“There are those that love it and there are those who will say it’s having a negative impact.

“Northumberland County Council need to give us a straight answer. They can’t hide behind a survey which was inconclusive.”

Vice chairman Fiona Nelson-van Loon stressed that it was important the Chamber’s survey is balanced to get an accurate reflection of the picture.

Concerns about the impact of the scheme on retailers on Bondgate Within – no longer a through road since the pedestrianisation of Narrowgate – were raised by members.

Jane Atkin, who owns The Beauty Box, said: “I want everyone in Alnwick to do well. I don’t want this to become a Narrowgate versus the rest of the town situation.

“I want Narrowgate to do well but not at the expense of Bondgate Within. At the moment, Bondgate Within is really suffering.

“If the town dies it won’t come back again and this has been going on too long now. It needs to be resolved.

“As a business in Bondgate Within, we are losing all the through trade. We have become a side street.”

She fears the situation could lead to national retailers pulling out.

“If they don’t get the trade they will just pull out of the town,” said Jane.

“The mood on the street is one of panic.”

She also raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians with large delivery wagons reversing down the street and other traffic attempting to turn around.

The Chamber of Trade will also approach the county council to ask about extending the 30-minute parking limits on Bondgate Within.