WORCESTER residents are being encouraged to give their views on proposals to change the time restrictions on vehicles being allowed into the pedestrianised area of the city centre.
Vehicles are currently banned from High Street, Broad Street, The Shambles and neighbouring streets between 10.30am and 4.30pm seven days a week, but the mooted new rules would see those hours being extended from 10am to 6pm.
The move is partly in response to the tragic death of Sylvia Russell after a collision with a refuse lorry in The Shambles in 2014. The aim is to improve safety in the area by banning all vehicles at times when pedestrian footfall is at its highest.
An initial consultation has been launched at worcester.gov.uk/voiceit to give city residents the chance to give their views on the idea and raise any objections to it.
Their comments will be taken into account when a draft Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is drawn up by Worcestershire County Council, the highways authority.
A further consultation will be held later this year.
Coun Geoff Williams, vice chair of Worcester City Council’s Place and Economic Development sub-committee, said: “The city centre is a place where residents and visitors need to feel safe as they enjoy Worcester’s fantastic range of shops, cafes and restaurants.
“That’s why I would encourage as many people as possible to have their say on this important potential change to traffic restrictions in the area. You can give your views at www.worcester.gov.uk/voiceit.”
The roads affected by the TRO are High Street; Broad Street; Mealcheapen Street; Pump Street; Friar Street; Copenhagen Street; The Cornmarket; Angel Place; Angel Street; Church Street; Bank Street; The Shambles.
Traffic cannot be excluded from the roads for 24 hours a day, as delivery vehicles need to be able to reach businesses in the area.
The proposed changes would end the existing ban on cycling in the city centre between 10.30am and 4.30pm. It has not been possible to enforce the ban and there is no evidence that cycles in the pedestrianised areas have created any safety issues.
Most similar sized town centres in Britain allow cycling in city centres, so this would bring Worcester in line with them.
Visit www.worcester.gov.uk/voiceit to view the consultation or pick up printed copies at The Hive and the Guildhall.