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Demands made for more parking in Spalding following 'daft idea' to reduce on-street spaces in Lincolnshire County Council's active travel zone

Demands have been made for more parking in Spalding instead of a ‘bizarre’ new scheme to slash the number of on-street spaces.

Lincolnshire County Council’s proposed ‘active travel zone’ has sparked outrage.

The scheme would use a £799,900 county-wide Government fund to cut on-street parking in Double Street, Broad Street, The Crescent and Sheep Market to make way for pedestrians and cyclists. It would also extend The Crescent one-way system down to Sheep Market.

Sheep Market in Spalding (45386232)
Sheep Market in Spalding (45386232)

A county council spokesman was unable to confirm how many parking spaces would be lost ‘because of the nature of the bays not being individually marked’.

As reported in The Lincolnshire Free Press, town traders have described the proposed plan as a ‘stab in the back’.

Spalding’s Town Centre Improvement Steering Group says it will be ‘carefully considering’ the scheme.

Broad Street Spalding (45386221)
Broad Street Spalding (45386221)

A spokesman said: “We are aware of town centre traders’ concerns over Lincolnshire County Council’s Active Travel Zone plans and will be working with our county council colleagues over the next few weeks as part of the consultation process to influence any final decision for the town centre.

“Members of the town centre improvement group, which includes members of the business community, will be carefully considering these proposals and will be keen to make sure any final decision will bring positive benefits to the town centre for those who live, work and visit Spalding.”

MP Sir John Hayes is writing to the county council to make it clear that the plans are ‘unwelcome’.

He said: “At a time when retail needs a huge boost following the necessary restrictions that Covid has brought, we should be encouraging people to visit the town centre to give our businesses the support they deserve. Parking should be made easier not more difficult. I want to see an expansion of town centre parking not a reduction.

“This daft idea to restrict parking even further needs to be stopped before it starts. I am writing to the LCC to make it clear that this is unwelcome and all of the business that require footfall in town centre will get my support and I will do all I can to stop this bizarre and potentially damaging notion.”

The county council confirmed the scheme would initially be temporary for between a year and 18 months. After this trial, residents and organisations would be asked which elements they may want to keep.

A n LCC spokesman said: “The initial idea came from the virtual cycling summit held last August, with representatives from east district, as well as local and national cycling groups. A rep from Spalding cycling group, Pedals, was present.

“The Spalding scheme in particular has quite a few different elements to it, so if people like some elements and not others they should include that in their response. Only those schemes – or elements of them – with support will get the go-ahead.”

To have your say visit: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/directory-record/66026/ active-travel-fund-community-engagement

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