Councillors were asked this week whether the pedestrianisation of a Bury St Edmunds shopping street needed simplifying.
Members of St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Bury Area Working Party were asked on Tuesday, as part of a wider consultation, if they thought the pedestrianisation scheme in Abbeygate Street should be altered to extend its hours of closure. It currently closes from 10am-4pm on weekdays - except Wednesdays when it is closed from 6am-6pm – and again from 6am Saturday until 7am Monday, reopening to allow businesses a three-hour delivery window.
“I don’t notice any great confusion and I think there would be if we changed it,” said Cllr Paul Farmer.
“As long as it’s kept simple, I don’t see the problem with it,” said Cllr Stefan Oliver, who admitted being unaware of the street’s varying hours of closure.
Cllr Pat Warby said having the street close after children made their way to school and reopen soon after they began their journeys home was problematic.
Cllr Sarah Stamp said she ‘wouldn’t mind seeing it pedestrianised full stop’ while Cllr David Nettleton said traffic movements and business deliveries made it a ‘complicated issue’ with any changes needing to be ‘acceptable to the majority of people’.
Speaking after the meeting, Mark Cordell, chief executive of Bury’s Business Improvement District Ourburystedmunds, said: “I’d generally be supportive of extending the hours of closure to make it more pedestrianised, but there’s clearly a number of issues to consider including delivery of goods, how long it would remain closed for the benefit of the nighttime economy and the particulars of who would reopen it.”
What do you think? Should Abbeygate become more pedestrianised?