Councillors unhappy with plans to pedestrianise busy town centre road
Plans to pedestrianise a busy Cockermouth road have angered town councillors.
Councillors said they had not been consulted on plans to block off Market Place which would “cause havoc in the town”.
They were also cross about the lack of consultation before changes were brought in this week on Station Street. Bollards have been placed along one side of the street to create a wider pavement and help improve social distancing.
The county council’s area manager, Lizzy Shaw, wrote to the town council explaining that the Department of Transport had announced the allocation of funding for Cumbria as part of their £225m Emergency Travel Active Fund.
She said: “Cumbria County Council received confirmation that £233,000 has been allocated as part of the first tranche. We have been working for a number of weeks on identifying potential schemes in each of our six districts. We have prioritised the schemes which could be delivered within this first phase of funding.”
She said, in Cockermouth, the council was seeking funding to “close off Market Place to through traffic, allowing more open space for pedestrians and cyclists with the use of planters”. While in Station Street, it would “provide a separate cycleway facility by way of barriers and a temporary extension of the footway width to hep social distancing”.
The changes were made in Station Street this week. Regarding the Market Place plans, at a town council meeting this week, Coun David Malloy said: “This would create havoc in the town.”
Councillors questioned why they had not been consulted. “There’s no way I would agree to pedestrianising Market Place,” said Coun Alan Smith. “It’s okay to close it for a short time for Taste Cumbria but to close it even for a full week would absolutely devastate the town centre.”
The council discussed problems caused by drivers parking in newly-created loading bays on Station Street, meaning deliveries could not be done. The town council was to write to the county council to ask to be consulted before any work was done in Market Place. Clerk Sheila Brown said: “We will ask them to look again at Station Street, because it does not appear to be working and also what plans are in place should the social distancing measurements be reduced.”