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Newbury town centre pedestrianisation trial deferred

Council remains committed to delivering trial scheme for benefit of residents and the night time economy.

Posted by: Communications team on 20 July 2023 18:07
Categories: July 2023
Northbrook Street

Proposals which would see Newbury town centre pedestrianised for longer each day have been deferred.

West Berkshire Council was intending to run a trial scheme with pedestrianisation in place from 10am until midnight each day. The trial was planned to begin on Monday 14 August, to boost the Festival of the Moon events and the night-time economy over the summer months.

Research carried out for the Newbury Town Centre Masterplan and further research by the Business Improvement District (BID) and Newbury Town Council both showed significant support for extended pedestrianisation of the town centre.

However, West Berkshire Council has reluctantly had to defer the trial pedestrianisation for now. Essential road works which will be taking place elsewhere in Newbury over the coming months will put extra pressure on the road system meaning the trial would not be representative of the normal traffic situation when the impact of the trial is assessed.

At the same time the Department for Transport (DfT) has finally provided a response to our request for an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) . Disappointingly the DfT took weeks to respond, despite regular chasing from officers. It requires further dialogue with DfT to clarify a number of points and until this is received we are not able to proceed with our preferred approach.

Speaking about the scheme, Councillor Denise Gaines, Executive Member for Highways said: said:

"We have reflected on the road closure and the uncertainty with the DfT and that means that we will now defer this trial for the time being. This is incredibly disappointing as it means our nighttime economy and local residents will not get the benefits of extended pedestrianisation this summer.

 

"Our commitment to this trial continues and we remain of the view that it is in the best interest of our town centre, our economy and environment, and all evidence shows that pedestrianisation drivers up footfall."

Last modified: 21 July 2023 12:05

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