Narrowgate closed to traffic as trial begins in Alnwick
One of Alnwick’s main shopping streets has been closed to traffic in a trial aimed at improving the town centre.
Narrowgate, between Fenkle Street and Bondgate, was blocked off to traffic today in the hope of creating a safer and more pleasant experience for pedestrians.
Options for this area of the town centre were put forward for consultation at the Alnwick Forum event late last year, with pedestrianisation being the preferred choice of traders and many of those who attended.
Traders are now being encouraged to come up with creative ideas about how the new pedestrianised area could be used during the trial period, with planters being temporarily installed to block off the road to vehicles and bunting being put up on the street.
Some businesses have ordered street furniture, including one which plans to have deckchairs.
Businesses are being urged to feed any other ideas into the Chamber of Trade to help create a welcoming area for shoppers.
Alnwick county councillor Gordon Castle, speaking earlier this month, said: “There was a great deal of support for this scheme and we are very hopeful the new pedestrianised area will prove to be a success for traders, residents and visitors.
“These streets were built long before motorised traffic and Narrowgate by its very name is not a wide street and does not lend itself to a comfortable mix of heavy traffic and pedestrians.
“We think this is an excellent opportunity to revitalise this key part of the town centre.”
During the trial traffic levels around the town will be monitored to measure the impact of the closure and the trial scheme will be reviewed in 12 months time.
The review will decide upon what permanent changes need to be made to the road and pavements at Narrowgate, as well as any other improvements that are needed to the local highway network.
Drivers who have previously used Narrowgate to get in and out of the town should now use the alternative routes via Fenkle Street or Dispensary Street which will be clearly signposted.