Decision time on Narrowgate pedestrianisation scheme in Alnwick
People are being asked to have their say on an Alnwick pedestrianisation scheme.
Narrowgate was closed to traffic in July 2019 in an effort to create a more pedestrian friendly space.
The aim was to support the town’s economy by providing a more attractive space for shopping and leisure, as well as to improve the environment by removing traffic and cutting emissions.
However, the scheme has come in for criticism in some quarters because of its impact on traffic flows in other parts of the town and safety issues caused by vehicles turning around on Bondgate Within.
Now, Northumberland County Council and Alnwick Town Council want people to have their say.
Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member for local services, said: “Previously Narrowgate was subject to large amounts of traffic, with pedestrians restricted to a narrow footway and often having to step into the road to pass each other.
“During the road closure the street has been well used by visitors and shoppers, with pavement cafes in particular proving popular.
“The trial is now coming to an end and we're asking residents and traders whether they think Narrowgate should be closed to traffic permanently or re-opened, and let us know why, along with any other comments they may have.”
Cllr Gordon Castle, Alnwick ward member, said: “I was very much in favour of putting this trial in place and would now urge those with views about the future of the scheme to express them.”
Cllr Martin Swinback, fellow Alnwick councillor, added: “The pedestrianisation trial in Narrowgate was extended due to the need for social distancing during the Covid crisis. As we emerge from the pandemic and look forwards as a community, we need to decide on the future use of this space.”
Mayor Lynda Wearn said: “It is important that everyone has the opportunity to comment on the pedestrianisation scheme and I am pleased that the consultation process has begun.”
The two councils will consider all feedback before making a final decision on the project.
If it is decided to make the pedestrianisation permanent, the existing road closure will be maintained while proposals are drawn up to improve the physical street environment, which will be subject to further public consultation.
The consultation is online at https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Highways/Roads/Traffic.aspx and is open until November 5.