Alnwick Town Council has supported the recommendation by Northumberland County Council officers to progress with the permanent pedestrianisation of Narrowgate, following a 30-month trial period.
At Thursday’s meeting of the council a majority vote backed the County Council’s plans but with the proviso that certain issues would be addressed.
Following the Town Council’s decision Alnwick Town Mayor Cllr Lynda Wearn said: “We recognise that the pedestrianisation scheme has split local opinion, but we have to form a view based on the consultation and comments gathered.
“My fellow councillors have raised very relevant concerns and I am pleased that there was a Northumberland County Council Highways Officer present this evening to hear them.”
Councillor Peter Broom wanted assurances that the signage would be improved and enquired about Fenkle Street becoming one-way.
The availability of parking for residents of Bondgate Within and improving the signage for the parking spaces on Greenwell Lane were matters highlighted by Councillor Julia Lyford.
The question of timescale for the project was also raised and councillors heard that it was hoped that all the design criteria would be complete by the end of the 22/23 financial year and that the scheme would be ready to progress in the following year.
Northumberland County Council’s recommendations acknowledge that two main areas of concern, the Bondgate Within turning area and the Fenkle Street/Market Street junction, will be addressed.
Councillor Wearn added “Extensive consultations have been carried out with businesses and residents and the resulting data has been very informative.
“At the last consultation, which took place from September to November 2021, there was a clear majority (62%) to the question ‘Should Narrowgate be pedestrianised permanently?’
“Interestingly most respondents with an Alnwick Town Centre address were in favour of the scheme (64%). The majority of those with a Narrowgate address were in favour (83%) and the majority with a Bondgate Within address were against (78%).
“The Town Council is expecting a high-quality streetscape design which will recognise that Alnwick is a major tourist destination and will enhance the links between the town centre, car parks, the castle and Alnwick Gardens.”
Voting on the recommendations of Northumberland County Council to proceed with the permanent pedestrianisation of Narrowgate, seven councillors were in favour, two members abstained and there were two votes against.