Opinion split on ideas for street

Narrowgate, Alnwick
Narrowgate, Alnwick

Options to make an Alnwick street more pedestrian friendly, which could include shutting part of it off to vehicles, have split opinion, with some in favour, while others believe that things should be left alone.

Last week, we reported that the county council is set to conduct a feasibility study of Narrowgate and Bondgate Within to look at ways to make them more suited to people on foot.

The authority has asked the town council to suggest some initial options and give views on possible designs for them to consider.

The main area of focus is on the narrow section between the Narrowgate/Fenkle Street junction and where Narrowgate joins Bondgate Within.

A list of options has been drawn up for the county council to consider and possibly work up designs which could be discussed and put out for consultation.

These are closing the narrow part of Narrowgate to traffic; a pedestrian priority scheme in Narrowgate, whereby vehicles are allowed, but not encouraged, with a design to restrict speeds; a one-way system; or do nothing, but perhaps with improved signage.

With all of the options, councillors said a speed restriction/road crossing in Bondgate Within, opposite Greenwell Lane, would be beneficial.

The initial ideas sparked a range of responses at this month’s Alnwick Town Council and the debate continued on the Gazette’s Facebook page.

Speaking in favour of pedestrianisation, Joel Ross posted: ‘Great idea, they did the same thing in Keswick and it transformed the town’, while Colin Stanforth added: ‘It’s about time Alnwick stopped living in the past and started moving forward. There are many examples of pedestrianisation, properly implemented, improving towns eg Keswick, Clithero.’

But others weren’t quite as enthused. Daniel Ballard said: ‘Alnwick is lovely. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. William S MacKinlay added: ‘Leave well alone.’

Meanwhile, Neil Hutchinson suggested a compromise, posting: ‘Why not have access permitted on weekdays before a certain time (say 10am) and after a certain time (say 4pm)?’