Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Council introduces new traffic rules for Lancaster city centre pedestrain zone


New rules which aim to reduce the amount of vehicle traffic in Lancaster’s pedestrian zone are due to come into force from next Monday (3rd February).

As part of the Lancaster Square Routes project, Lancashire County Council is bringing in an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.

The changes are being made following a request by Lancaster City Council to improve the management of vehicle traffic within the pedestrian zone.

The main changes will see:

  • A change to the period when goods vehicles cannot enter the zone to 10am - 5pm to  fit with the main shopping hours. 
  • Removal of the permit system by which some drivers can access the zone by vehicle for either loading or parking, including access for disabled parking.
  • The introduction of a new dispensation system by which the zone can be accessed by vehicles for certain purposes, including for essential works or events and by market traders (time limited).

To compensate for the reduction in spaces for disabled drivers, four additional spaces have been created on the city council managed St Nicholas Arcades car park. In addition, disabled drivers can use any council car park for free.

The order will last for 18 months, during which the effects of the changes will be monitored and people and organisations will be able to give their views on how they are working.

Changes can be made during the period if necessary.

Councillor Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for Economic Regeneration and Planning, said: “Lancaster’s pedestrian zone is at the heart of the city and the setting for much city centre trading, commercial activity and host to many of the city’s cultural offerings.

“The ETRO will look at whether traffic can be better managed to create a more pleasant and safer environment for pedestrians and to the benefit of all who live, work and do business in this centre.

“It is all about striking a good balance between the needs for vehicle access and the interests of pedestrians."

County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "We want to improve the way traffic is managed to achieve a better environment and get the most out of this space which is vital to the daily functioning and economy of the city.

"The experimental order will allow us to monitor how the changes to traffic management work in practice and make adjustments if necessary to improve the way they work.

"We'll work closely with the city council, businesses and local people throughout to achieve the best result for Lancaster."

Leaflets outlining the changes are being distributed to businesses in the centre and are available at various locations around the district including both town halls, VICs, all district libraries and to permit holders where details are held.

• More information is available at www.lancaster.gov.uk/lancasterparking 

2 comments:

Chris Satori said...

Sadly it means that the library will now be off-limits for disabled users. It's too far from St Nicholas Arcade to carry books, there and back in all weathers. If you need to use a stick or rollator it's impossible and the weight destabilises wheelchairs, especially when there are so many cobbled stretches to cross. Few elderly people can manage it either.

However I imagine the council will have consulted with local disabled stakeholder groups on the impact of barring them from the NW quadrant of the city centre before cutting their access so drastically. Surely.

Ceri said...

Well said. The disabled access should remain.