THE DEADLINE for people to give their thoughts on a scheme to partly pedestrianise Bridgwater’s West Quay is looming.
The West Quay Action Group, formed following the river wall collapse, has been working with council officials to make a stretch of road from the Town Bridge to Castle Street traffic free.
Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council and Bridgwater Town Council are asking the public to take part in a consultation by December 3.
Vice chairman of the action group, Martin Grixoni, said: “We compiled a petition which found 600 people were in favour of pedestrianisation.
“Meetings were held with the town, district and county council and they agreed pedestrianisation was a good idea but proposed a ‘half-way house’ scheme for a short section of the area.
“We wanted to go for it, but we are keen for Bridgwater to get the best it can. I hope they will consider expanding the scheme.”
The section would be traffic free, with deliveries permitted from 6am to 10am and the carriageway surface improved with stone setts, reclaimed from the river wall, at the Northgate and Castle Street junctions.
The length from Castle Street to Northgate car park will still be open for traffic, with a new link from West Quay to Northgate through the car park.
Tom Dougall, Sedgemoor District Council’s Transport Policy Officer, told the Mercury: “We distributed leaflets giving details of the suggested scheme in September, which are still available from Bridgwater House. The official consultation began on October 23.”
He said the reason full pedestrianisation was not chosen was because of costs, the fact that a bigger scheme would affect more people and take longer to implement, and the opportunity to make the most of the current contractors working on the wall.
He added: “When current construction is finished, we want to use the same contractors to alter the road. This would save on costs and is a great opportunity.
“This is the start and it doesn’t exclude future extension of the scheme.”
Secretary of the West Quay Action Group, Owen Jones of the Watergate hotel, added: “I think it will increase footfall in the town and make it more attractive to both shoppers and residents, taking advantage of the historical buildings in that part of town.”
Westover Councillor Brian Smedley, who has supported the action group, said: “Pedestrianising the West Quay is a real opportunity to turn around the fortunes of that part of town and to utilise a famous river frontage.”
Write to Somerset County Council Dunball Industrial Estate, Dunball, Bridgwater, TA6 4TP or firstname.lastname@example.org.