The Newbury Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign to pedestrianise parts of the town centre.
They want West Berkshire Council to experiment with a permanent pedestrianisation of Northbrook Street (between 10am – midnight) and Market Place (24 hours a day) through the use of an Experimental Traffic Order.
This would allow a six-month period for objections to be made, with a final decision on whether to make the changes permanent having to be made within 18 months.
The proposed pedestrianisation of Northbrook Street and Market Place by the Liberal Democrats is in line with ideas supported by the Newbury Business Improvement District (BID) and has already received support from many Newbury residents.
Martin Colston, Liberal Democrat Leader of Newbury Town Council, said: “Two years ago, when the world began to stop due to Covid-19, the Liberal Democrat run Newbury Town Council worked hard with local residents, businesses and others to ensure that our high street could remain safe for those who used it, even when strict social distancing was necessary.
“The enforced pedestrianisation of Northbrook Street during that time taught us a lot, and we believe it showed a number of benefits for our town. Ultimately, we think that it made Newbury a safer, greener and more attractive place to visit, work and live.
“That’s why today we’re launching a campaign to call on West Berkshire Council to experiment with a permanent pedestrianisation of Northbrook Street (10am-midnight) and the Market Place (24 hours a day).
“This would keep cars out of the high street at peak times, making it safer and more pleasant for pedestrians and the night-time economy, while continuing to allow access for local businesses and the disabled.
“This is the approach that Newbury residents and businesses have told us they support – now it’s time for action.”
Residents who wish to support the campaign can add their name to the Lib Dem petition at www.wbld.org.uk/northbrookst.
Photo of Northbrook Street above is by Mark Gough Flickr CCL.