Wednesday, 26 February 2014

City centre traffic & parking changes cancelled pending consultation

Vehicles displaying precinct permits parked in New Street
at the second entrance to Lancaster Library
Photo courtesy of Robert Wade

Lancashire County Council has reviewed its decision to introduce a new traffic scheme in Lancaster next week.  The Experimental Traffic Regulation Order was originally due to be brought in on Monday 3 February. However, due to an administration error with the advertisement, the introduction of the scheme was put back to Monday 3 March 2014.  Now, in response to concerns raised by Blue Badge holders, the county council has decided not to bring in these plans and to carry out more in-depth consultation instead.

The county council will now form a consultation group made up of partner organisations, representatives from disabled people's groups and businesses, to discuss what form future traffic plans in the city centre will take. Details of the scheme will be finalised following the studies involving the consultation group.

Phil Barrett, director of Lancashire Highway Services, said:
"We are planning to bring in the new scheme as an experiment to help reduce traffic and improve the way parking is managed in the city centre.

"However the recent delay, due to an advertising error, meant we could take further account of concerns raised by Blue Badge users and local disabled groups. We've listened to what they've said and instead of bringing in the experimental traffic order, we're going to carry out a more in-depth consultation.

"There is no doubt that action needs to be taken so we can reduce traffic and make the best use of the space available throughout the city centre for the benefit of all, residents and visitors alike.

"We do need to look at the needs of disabled drivers and all our road users, including cyclists and pedestrians. We will be working closely with partner agencies over the next few months, before we decide which experimental scheme we put in place."

No traffic schemes will be introduced until the city centre improvements that are planned as part of the Square Routes project have been made.

Square Routes is a joint project run by Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council. A number of improvements and repairs are planned for the City Centre to maximise its permeability and attractiveness. With the Castle redevelopment on one side of the city centre and the proposed Canal Corridor development at the other it makes good sense that the streets and alleyways linking the two across the old centre of the City should be made welcoming, upbeat, attractive and accessible.

For a summary of the proposed works see earlier story:
"Latest stage of "Square Routes" project gets under way in March (and the horseshoe will be back!)"

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