Spalding traders brand Lincolnshire County Council's 'active travel' plan as 'stab in the back'
Traders say new plans to get rid of much of Spalding’s on-street parking are a ‘stab in the back’ for the town’s businesses.
Spalding retailers are worried that Lincolnshire County Council’s plans for an ‘active travel zone’ could stop shoppers from visiting the town.
The scheme would see on-street parking in Broad Street, The Crescent, Sheep Market and Double Street removed to make way for cyclists and pedestrians.
The one-way system in The Crescent would also be extended from the junction with Spring Gardens to Sheep Market.
Spalding Town Retailers’ Association chairman Darren Sutton, who is manager of both Charmed Interiors and Bookmark, said: “This just feels like another stab in the back for retailers who will have a hard enough time to bring customers back into town after lockdown.
“Removing parking is absolutely ridiculous and it will only discourage people from coming into town.”
Emma Peake, who runs Daisies Flower Shop in The Crescent, said: “We’re a market town where people pop in and pop out.
“It’s all about spontaneity and if we lose that then we’ve lost all hope.
“It’s a bad idea - we need to get cars back in to bring back the market town that Spalding once was.”
The scheme would also see cycling to be allowed at all times in Market Place, along with a protected cycling contraflow from Double Street to Herring Lane and another in The Crescent.
David Jones, chairman of Spalding bicycle action group Pedals, says the groups has been asking for contraflows in the town for 30 years.
He said: “We definitely want and need the contraflow in Double Street, which we have been asking fro since the 1990s.
“I don’t think it is necessary to get rid of all of the parking for the contraflow down The Crescent - they could do it just along one side - but there has always been a limit to how many people can park next to a business and owners need to take this into account.
“It won’t do people any harm to walk a little bit further.”
South Holland District Councillor Gary Taylor, portfolio holder for communities and facilities, wants businesses to be easily accessed.
He said: “We want people to be able to access the town and businesses without making it difficult for traders and customers, and for the town to be safe for pedestrians and cyclists, but it needs to be in areas where it’s needed and with a flexible approach where areas are trialled and then changing it if it doesn’t work.”
A spokesperson for Lincolnshire County Council confirmed that should the scheme go ahead it would be a trial which could be reversed.
They added: “The amount of available parking was taken into account when the scheme was devised, but if people have concerns about the reduction in on-street parking, they should please put that on their consultation response.”
- To have your say visit: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/directory-record/66026/ active-travel-fund-community-engagement