Knutsford Town Council has put forward proposals to Cheshire East Council for temporary restrictions in Knutsford Town Centre to enable shoppers to maintain social distancing.
The proposals were submitted to Cheshire East Council today (22nd May) and aim to provide more space for pedestrians in the main shopping streets through limiting traffic and widening pedestrian spaces by the removal of parking.
The decision on what measures to implement will be taken by Cheshire East Council at which stage the detailed implementation of the measures will be agreed and widely communicated, but the suggestions put forward by the Town Council are:
- Closure of the central section from the junction with King Street Car Park to the junction with Egerton Square.
- Removal of on street car parking from the entrance to the railway station to just after Giovanni’s restaurant – except for a limited number of disabled parking bays where pavement widths allow
- The King Street Car Park to be signed as entrance only from King Street, whilst remaining entrance/exit from Moorside.
- Through traffic to be deterred from Princess Street through the installation of ‘access only’ signage
- Removal of on street parking along the length of Princess Street from the junction with Canute Place to Simon Boyds, except for the provision of limited disabled parking bays
In tandem to these restrictions the Town Council has also stressed the importance of delivering an increase in parking provision elsewhere in the town centre and has put forward proposals for increasing the number of parking bays in Tatton Street car park and on Gaskell Avenue.
The Town Council has proposed a two-hour free parking period on Cheshire East car parks to replace the on street parking and encourage turnover of visitors.
The Town Council has also suggested a blanket ban on a-boards to ensure pavements remain clear for pedestrians.
The proposed measures seek to maximise space for pedestrians whilst minimising disruption to residents and businesses within the town centre.
The Town Council has already secured public use of three private car parks thanks to local hoteliers:
- The Rose and Crown car park (accessed off Silk Mill Street) is available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
- The Cross Keys car park (accessed between Fine and Country and the Lost and Found) is available all week until the hotel reopens
- The Courthouse Cheshire carpark (Toft Road) is available all week whilst the Courthouse undergoes extensive refurbishment
Town Mayor, Cllr Andrew Malloy said “As we begin to emerge from lockdown, Knutsford Town Council has been very conscious of the need to maintain a social distancing for those visiting the town centre. As a result, we’ve been discussing the best way to implement a solution, listening to businesses, residents and government advice, and as such we’ve set out our recommendations to Cheshire East Council for implementation as soon as possible.
This is just a first step, and the situation will remain under review, with further steps to be requested as required, but it is important to implement restrictions to traffic on both King and Princess Street to ensure safety for all during the Covid-19 pandemic.”