25 MAY 2020


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Article from BTNews 25 MAY 2020

Pavement war. Shopkeepers and drivers attacked!

Transport Minister Grant Shapps has his name attached to a Government directive issued Saturday (23 May) effectively stopping parking along high streets where local Councils feel fit.

“The government (therefore) expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. Such changes will help embed altered behaviours and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel. I’m pleased to see that many authorities have already begun to do this, and I urge you all to consider how you can begin to make use of the tools in this guidance, to make sure you do what is necessary to ensure transport networks support recovery from the Covid-19 emergency and provide a lasting legacy of greener, safer transport."

What this means is that Councils have very quickly, and presumably at great expense, blocked off high street parking areas where they think the space can be better used by pedestrians.  There appears to have been no consultations with local residents or shopkeepers who currently rely on the ability to locally park short-term for food shopping and collecting takeaways.  Clearly there are cases where this makes sense but what will happen to our high street businesses post-Covid-19, where there is already a shortage of parking spaces?

“Crazy” said a trader in Borehamwood, not far from the TV studios, “Life is difficult enough at the present time without even more restrictions.  It’s no good getting up a petition.  They never listen!”  Local MP Oliver Dowden (Conservative Hertsmere) and Culture & Sports Secretary expects a deluge of complaints. 

DfT Relocation of Road Space

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

William Ashpole, England

More empty cycle lanes! More congestion producing more pollution! More stressed and frustrated drivers, More city and town centre shops going broke as motorists switch to edge of town supermarkets and retail centres! Looney Green agendas to destroy our road transport system!

Ian Hamer, UK

Whoever said that Local Authorities represent ''LOCAL DEMOCRACY'' They don't. Give them a tin of yellow paint and a traffic warden and off they go. More penalty income to spend.

Norman Bartlett, Chelmsford

British local authorities are merely organisations embodied to carry out central government orders. My parish council was awarded Quality Council status that it boasted about. The judging criteria had nothing to do with the services it provided the village. All ratings were based on how well it met bureaucratic standards.

David Starkie, London

What does "...positive effects of active travel..." mean in plain english? And at the moment, safer transport is private transport.

Ian Hamer, UK

Whoever said that Local Authorities represent ''LOCAL DEMOCRACY'' They don't. Give them a tin of yellow paint and a traffic warden and off they go. More penalty income to spend.

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