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New trial to reduce traffic in Shrewsbury town centre to begin on 20 November
13 Nov 2021

A second trial to reduce traffic in parts of Shrewsbury town centre at weekends is to begin on Saturday 20 November [2021].

Under the plans Wyle Cop (uphill), High Street, Milk Street, and Shoplatch will be closed to all traffic on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

The Square will be closed to traffic every day from 10am to 4pm.

It follows a previous trial that ran from July to September this year.

All feedback from that trial – positive and negative – was reviewed in conjunction with the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership and was taken on board when plans for the second trial were drawn up.

As a result, a number of improvements have been made.

The new trial is weekends only, and five additional disabled parking bays are to be provided 24/7 for the duration of the trial – three in Princess Street and two in Claremont Street.

Waiting and loading will be prohibited in High Street from 10am to 4pm at weekends, but the Loading Bay on Wyle Cop outside The Lion Hotel will remain available via Dogpole, except for between 10am and 11am. Similarly, no vehicles will able to use the Wyle Cop parking bay between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays during the trial.

More information, including a map and a ‘question and answer’ section, can be found on a new website – www.shrewsburymoves.com

Once the trial begins, people will also be able to provide feedback via the website. This will be considered when a review of the trial is carried out in January to decide whether any of the measures should become permanent.

Comments can also be submitted on the Shropshire Council website.

Meanwhile, feasibility work has begun into a Low Traffic scheme for Town Walls, ahead of councils being given new legal powers to enforce moving traffic orders from next year.

Steve Brown head of transport and environment with Shropshire Council, said:

“Following the feedback we received during the first trial we have made some adjustments and are now able to begin a second trial of reduced traffic through Shrewsbury Town Centre at weekends. We hope it will give town centre businesses a boost – especially in the run up to Christmas.

“As a result of the feedback from the first trial we’re confident that this trial will be an improvement on the last one, will be well received and will help us to meet our aims.

“We are all clear that traffic cannot be diverted along Town Walls on a long-term basis, and work has already started on ways to remove through-traffic from Town Walls in the future.

“I encourage people to give us their views on the trial once it begins.”

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said:

“Our recent survey with town centre businesses has shown strong support for traffic-free streets, and we are pleased to see an enhanced scheme returning at weekends.

“Alongside the traffic changes we will be organising festive activities to create an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere for shoppers and visitors in the run up to Christmas.

“We would encourage all businesses to take part in the consultation so their views can help shape a long-term pedestrian-friendly strategy for the town centre.”

Helen Ball, Shrewsbury Town Council clerk, said:

“We greatly favour the reintroduction of the traffic restrictions which have proved so successful and popular amongst visitors, shoppers and businesses in the town centre.

“We hope the issues with traffic using Town Walls can be resolved in the future, and arrangements for disabled access are improved as we move forward with this trial.

“The town council has been at the forefront of demanding pedestrian and alternative travel priority in the town centre, and we look forward to further plans to make the provision permanent as we move towards implementing a comprehensive movement strategy and other elements of the Big Town Plan.”

All ‘key’ Park and Ride bus stops will continue to be served along the diversionary route between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays. This will include Shrewsbury Railway Station, Castle Street (opposite Mark & Spencer), and Dogpole.

The closures – and related traffic information – are set to be advertised using the new Variable Message Signs that are now in place around the town to provide information to residents, visitors and businesses.

For more information go to shrewsburymoves.com.