Plans to pedestrianise more of Rugby town centre have been described as “ridiculous” and “flawed” by Advertiser readers.
Many have written letters on the subject, about which the newspaper published a story on its front page last week. The proposals involve banning private cars from North Street and Church Street up to the corner of Regent Street, with buses and taxis the only vehicles allowed.
Among those to have responded is Oxford Street resident Leslie Barrett, who wrote: “This is a ridiculous idea.
“Rugby is a town that is growing at a great rate, and traffic flow is fast becoming a major problem. A look at a map of the town shows very clearly that within the town centre itself, there are only two clear east - west main road routes. Rugby Council, in its infinite wisdom, is proposing to close one of them.
“Traffic chaos here we come.”
Jan Wilkinson, from Newbold, said: “Doesn’t pedestrianisation mean creating a place where pedestrians can walk freely without fear of being run over?
“With the huge number of buses that pass through Church Street and North Street every day plus the taxis I fail to see how this can possibly be achieved. It would be a complete waste of money.
“I only moved to Rugby in 2005 - it was a lovely town centre then, and it’s sad to see how it has declined. If the council has £1 million to spend on improving the town there must be a better way than this.”
Reader Stephanie Simpson wrote: “My understanding of capital investment using taxpayers money is that it must meet the test of financial viability and be proven to be sustainable and necessary. As far as I can see, none of these criteria have been met.
“It is my guess that there is a possibility that limiting vehicular access will encourage shoppers to move to out-of-town shopping. Rugby is a market town with the market stalls at the heart of the community. This will be forced to re-locate to accommodate the pedestrianisation.”
And Ken Knott of Dunchurch stated: “I can’t see how the proposed pedestrianisation of the clock tower area will lead to an increase in footfall in the town. I can’t see how the two parts of the town will be any more ‘connected’ by this project than they are now. After all it is only a matter of crossing the road using the pedestrian crossing and many people do this successfully at the moment.”
But Cllr Peter Butlin (Con, Admirals), who is backing the scheme, said: “It is the job of councils at borough and county level to provide the environment and infrastructure for business to flourish and provide growth and jobs in our town centre.
“I believe the pedestrianisation scheme will provide that environment.”