MAJOR changes are set to be made to the controversial temporary traffic scheme in Stratford town centre.
The Covid safety measures were implemented by Warwickshire County Council (WCC) in mid June in response to the easing of lockdown restrictions and the opening up of non-essential shops.
But businesses in the town complained the “catastrophic traffic scheme” failed on every level, from from on-street parking to pedestrian crossing points, and even threatened the survival of many.
A petition signed by 157 businesses – from major high street names to small independents, tourism and leisure businesses to cafes – was sent to Warwickshire, Stratford district, and Stratford town councils respectively, together with MP Nadhim Zahawi.
And at a review on Thursday, feedback was considered on a street by street basis and revisions proposed.
The key revisions are:
* Bridge Street – Re-introduce two way traffic, reinstate some on street parking and a bus stop on Marks & Spencer side plus a new informal crossing point between Sainsbury’s and M&S.
Wider pavements will be retained on both sides of the road. Red and white barrier to be removed. Cycle lane to be removed along with bollards on approach from bridge.
* High Street – Remove all barriers and introduced a timed road closure between 11am and 6pm 7 days per week controlled by manned barriers at each end of High Street. Outside of closure times parking to be reinstated.
* Sheep Street, Wood Street, Greenhill Street and Chapel Street – All barrier measures to be removed.
Stratforward BID canvassed businesses over the weekend and county, district and town councillors sought the views of residents in a effort to make a decision on the changes by tomorrow (Tuesday).
WCC deputy leader Coun Peter Butlin said: “We have always said that we would ‘Act & Adapt’ with these road changes, and we have been actively listening to the views of residents, businesses and stakeholders. We recognise the desire and need to undertake further changes and through this open dialogue, we hope to secure agreement to an amended scheme that addresses the concerns and issues that have been raised.”
Stratford District Council deputy leader Coun Daren Pemberton said all agreed aspects of the scheme did not work and needed changing.
He added: “These proposed changes reflect the feedback at a street by street level on improvements that have been fed into Warwickshire Highways for evaluation during the review meeting.
“These significant changes address the legitimate concerns of residents and businesses while keeping every user of the town Covid safe”
Stratford town councillor Kevin Taylor backed the proposed changes.
He said: ““Stratford town has been in discussion with our partner authorities at district and county level and via the BID throughout and fully endorses the proposed updates to the Covid-19 safety measures in the town”