Conservatives call for Council to listen to residents and businesses ahead of forcing through pedestrianisation
- West Berkshire Conservative Councillors are encouraging the LibDem Council to consult with businesses and residents instead of forcing pedestrianisation onto them without mitigating any negative effects.
- Pedestrianisation has the potential for many benefits, but they must not come at a cost to businesses and accessibility of the town centre.
- Residents and Businesses are invited to sign the petition now, as this is the only way voices will be heard before the restrictions come into force.
Commenting, Cllr Richard Somner, Shadow Portfolio Holder for Highways, said:
“West Berkshire Conservatives are encouraging the LibDem Council to think again and consult with businesses and residents instead of forcing pedestrianisation onto them without mitigating any negative effects.
Proposals include a minimum of six months and up to eighteen months of travel misery as they refuse to engage with local stakeholders until after the trial has started, meaning those with genuine concerns will not be listened to or have reasonable adaptations made in advance.
Businesses will be forced to ensure that all deliveries are taken between midnight and 10am, which may simply be impossible due to complex supplier arrangements. Residents with mobility difficulties will be locked out of the town centre from 10am to midnight.
The extension of pedestrianisation will only work alongside other infrastructure improvements and initiatives as part of the wider Newbury Town Centre Masterplan, and with the engagement of residents and businesses. This rushed, standalone proposal will only achieve traffic chaos and disadvantage businesses and residents.
In order to make this work, all local businesses and residents need to have their chance to highlight potential setbacks so that they can be factored into proposals. We urge the Lib Dems to pause for just a short time to formally consult those affected.”