Wednesday, 29 May 2013

City Cabinet defers decision on Chancery Lane closure

Lancaster City Council's cabinet has voted to defer a decision on the possible closure of Chancery Lane between Market Square and Church Street (see news story), after virtual-lancaster highlighted the proposal within the Lancaster Square Routes plan.

Nestling in the papers for this week's upcoming Cabinet meeting yesterday was the suggestion to close Chancery Lane (PDF link), the ginnel beside TK-Max which connects Market Square with Church Street. Council papers stated the proposed gating of the thoroughfare was in repsonse to "a longstanding concern of the Police in terms of anti-social behaviour".

But after objections from several quarters, including the national charity Living Streets, councillors decided to defer a decision, although Lancashire County Council, as the highways authority, has the ultimate decision-making capacity on its future as a thoroughfare.

The City Council is also consulting again with the police for further detail as to why they are asking for closure of this particular ginnel (especially after there have been muggings on other city centre ginnels recently).

The officer in charge of the Square Routes scheme has also been asked to look into at what might be done to try to improve the condition of the ginnel to make it more attractive to the public.

Chancery Lane has been a public right of way for centuries, dating back to medieveal times - people lived there in the last century.


The Editor said...

Check the Lancaster City Council web site for planning matters, or at this stage, email Cabinet members direct - all the email addresses for local councillors feature on the City Council web site. Writing them physical letters is always a good idea, too.

Anonymous said...

It was odd, wasn't it, how the access out the back of St Nicholas Arcade was closed off (unless you can find the perfumed trail thru Boots). It felt like the old town was pulling up the drawbridge against the Canal Corridor job. Not really thinking it through tho.

There was an idea to close the Vue passage at nights a while ago, but it was scrapped. I can't see this one getting through either. Those ginnels are handy when the weather's bad. Which it mostly is.

I think a really sensible change would be to make Russell Street one-way. The little U-shaped backstreet off Common Garden St that runs behind the Brown Cow and the top Wetherspoons. It's so narrow in most parts that cars have to back up if they end up facing each other. Not especially dangerous, just a regular nuisance. As well as being used for shop-loading, it's the disabled and pram entrance to the Wetherspoons dining room so there's a bit of dropping-off there and some fragile foot-traffic. It should be one-way, in at the east entry and out at the west. It wouldn't make any problems at all and it would solve a few. A no-entry sign and a one-way signs would do it.

John Freeman said...

It would be great if more could be done with Chancery Lane, great news that the City's Cabinet has deferred any decision. It's a right mess at the moment, but I'm sure some money could be used from the Square Routes fund to do more to it. Some kind of mural perhaps, working with local artists and others, charting the history of Lancaster, with, say a Roman soldier at the Church Street end, working towards the modern day at the other as you come out onto the revamped 'Square Route' styled Market Square? Just a thought. You could have characters from down the years walking past shops as they were in Chancery Lane or houses in the past?