A FURIOUS war of words has erupted after an outspoken Bedwardine councillor called for cars to be banned from the pedestrianised heart of Worcester during business hours.
Former Mayor of Worcester Coun Alan Amos said vehicles should not be allowed in areas such as the High Street, Pump Street and the Shambles between 9.30am and 5.30pm.
The controversial councillor said Worcester City Council should ‘bite the bullet’ and introduce a proper traffic-free pedestrianised area.
But Coun Geoff Williams, Worcester City Council cabinet member for Economic Prosperity and Growth, hit back at the comments and branded them ‘misguided on every count’.
Coun Amos claimed the current situation which allows deliveries to be made to shops was ‘unnecessary, dangerous, and polluting’.
“I would urge the council to start the process of consultation with the business community to finally bring this long overdue improvement about,” he said.
Coun Amos also called for the current Labour leadership to provide clear leadership on the tourism strategy currently being developed for the city.
“Yet it is only proposing to take a supporting role leaving the main role to a steering group made up of a wide range of very diverse stakeholders,” he added.
The Bedwardine councillor also pointed to a cabinet report which was due to be discussed by the Labour leadership last night (Tuesday) which admitted Worcester was among the bottom 10 per cent of cities in terms of branding.
“It is a shame that the proposals I put forward as the cabinet member last year for an eye-catching and original city logo promoting Worcester-have been ignored.
Coun Williams slammed the comments and launch a stinging attack on Coun Amos’s claims.
“The City Council has been campaigning hard for greater pedestrianisation of the city centre, as part of the current public consultation on the new Local Transport Plan for the county.
“However, as Coun Amos well knows, decisions on this important issue rest with his colleagues at County Hall, not with the City Council.”
“We are already taking a lead on tourism in Worcester, as demonstrated by the publication of the new Tourism Strategy.
“However, if Coun Amos thinks the City Council can do this on its own, he could not be more wrong.
“Strong leadership is all about working collaboratively with the right people and organisations – if we do not involve the city’s businesses, tourist attractions, arts organisations, restaurants, pubs and hotels in this work, it will not be possible for any tourism strategy to succeed
“Worcester City Council is actively developing new branding to support Worcester’s tourism offer, as stated in Objective 2 on page three of the new Tourism Strategy.
“Coun Amos has been invited to several workshops to assist with this important work.
“Sadly, he has not attended any of these sessions,” he added.
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