Options suggested to improve safety along Narrowgate

Narrowgate, Alnwick
Narrowgate, Alnwick

Options have been drawn up to make an Alnwick street more pedestrian friendly – which could include shutting part of it to vehicles.

In the current Local Transport Plan, the county council has included a feasibility study of Narrowgate and Bondgate Within to look at ways to make the design and layout more suited to people on foot.

It is expected that the study will be done this year, along with some construction. A budget of £100,000 has been earmarked.

The county council 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 four 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:

○ Close Narrowgate (the narrow part) to traffic: This would need to consider a vehicle turning area in Bondgate Within. Any loss of parking spaces could be accommodated elsewhere in Bondgate Within.

○ Pedestrian priority in Narrowgate: Vehicles allowed, but not encouraged, and the design of the road surface (narrow entrance/raised surfaces) would aim to restrict speeds.

○ One-way system: This could work in either direction, but the design would need too restrict speeds. This option would only give advantages if the carriageway was reduced to give a larger footpath.

○ 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.

Any changes to Narrowgate could have an impact on traffic flows at the Fenkle Street/Market Street junction, which would need to be addressed.

Councillors gave their thoughts at last Thursday’s town-council meeting.

Coun Martin Swinbank said it was important to consult properly with people. He added: “If we can make it a place where people want to go without feeling they will be knocked down by a car, then we will have achieved something.”

Coun George Mavin said he has concerns about the pedestrian priority idea, but is open to the other suggestions.

Coun Geoff Watson said last time pedestrianisation was mooted, there were objections from retailers.