Today, Shropshire Council published the orders to close King Street during the middle of the day on Fridays and Saturdays. The closure will come into force next Friday, 26 June.
There has been a lot of debate and confusion about this road closure.
Many people want King Street with its “narrows” closed at peak periods seven days a week (see my poll). Others did not want it closed at any point, especially owners of town centre businesses. Ludlow Town Council wanted High Street closed as well. Then Shropshire Council unexpectedly decided to close King Street seven days a week. After something of a rumpus, the council decided to restrict the closure to two days. Which what we agreed in the first place.
We must now see how this goes. We need to talk to businesses, residents, shoppers and visitors about how the closure helps them or whether it hinders them.
The experimental traffic regulation order will be in force for 18 months from next Friday, 26 June. Representations to Shropshire Council can be made at any point during the next six months (comment here). The order can be withdrawn at any point if it doesn’t work for the town.
It will be hard to assess the balance of opinion on this closure. Whether it works for the town.
Many people who live in the core town centre want all day access for their vehicles and for deliveries. With. People with limited mobility want to drive or travel by bus to get to the market area without a long walk. Businesses can’t control the timing of deliveries and worry that they will be delayed.
King Street is not suited to social distancing with its narrow pavements, pinch points and queues outside shops like Vaughan’s. People have long wanted to walk in comfort and spill out from the pavement without having to constantly look over their shoulders to keep an eye out for traffic. Reducing traffic on this street would promote businesses. It’s hard to look in a shop window at some points without feeling the pressure to move on from other pedestrians struggling for space. And that was the situation long before Covid-19 and social distancing. We need much more space now.
Closure will increase traffic on Linney and Dinham, and through the Broadgate. None are suited to additional traffic or large vehicles.
We need to keep a careful eye on this experiment. I am not convinced by the Friday closure. It would be better if we followed Ironbridge and closed the road Saturday and Sunday.
THE SHROPSHIRE COUNCIL (KING STREET, LUDLOW) (EXPERIMENTAL PROHIBITION OF MOTOR VEHICLES) ORDER 2020
On 19 June 2020 Shropshire Council made an experimental order to prohibit all motor vehicles from using King Street in Ludlow between 10am and 3pm every Friday and Saturday. Exemptions to this restriction include:
- Any vehicle being used for police, fire and rescue authority, or ambulance purposes;
- Any vehicle being driven in accordance with a direction given by a police constable;
- Vehicles being used for building or repair work to this length of road, adjacent buildings, or utilities.
This Order comes into effect on 26 June 2020, and will operate for a period of up to eighteen months. The Council will be considering in due course whether its provisions should continue in force indefinitely.
A copy of the order and deposit plan can be found at www.shropshire.gov.uk/traffic. Alternatively, you may request copies by:
- E-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
- writing to: Traffic Engineering Team, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND
- or by calling 0345 678 9006.
If you wish to raise an objection, express support, or make any other comments about these proposals, including your views on whether they should be made permanent or not, please send us an e-mail or letter by 19 December 2020 (contact details as above). You may also ring the above phone number for more information.
Please note that, for legal reasons, objections must be made in writing or by e-mail, and should state the grounds on which the objection is made. Objections cannot be accepted over the phone.
If you wish to question the validity of the order, or of any of its provisions, on the grounds that they are not within the powers conferred by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, or that any requirement of the Act or of any instrument made under it has not been complied with in relation to the Order you may, within six weeks from 19 June 2020, apply for the purpose to the High Court.
19 June 2020.