Desire for pedestrianisation may be included in Vision

Police ticket drivers illegally using Haverhill High Street
Police ticket drivers illegally using Haverhill High Street

An acknowledgement of the desire to see Haverhill town centre pedestrianised could be included in plans detailing how the town will develop.

The public inquiry into St Edmundsbury Council’s Vision 2031 documents which detail how Haverhill should develop over the next 20 years, held at Haverhill Leisure Centre last Wednesday (February 5), heard how the borough council had removed the aim of pedestrianising Haverhill High Street.

The town council wants it to be pedestrianised like Queen Street – from 10am to 4pm weekdays, 6am to 6pm Saturdays, and not on Sundays or bank holidays.

The borough supported this in its original Vision draft and planned to implement it last year, but pulled out after objections from town centre businesses such as Chapmans and Gurteens.

Town clerk Will Austin said: “This particular issue dates back over 50 years – I have been shown a newspaper clipping from 1954 with concerns about traffic parking in Haverhill High Street.

“A town council survey showed 70 per cent of people are in favour of pedestrianisation and illegal town centre parking is repeatedly raised at the police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) priority setting meetings.”

A borough council representative said they had a traffic regulation order to pedestrianise last January (2013), but objections made it ‘quite difficult’ as it would have had to go through a public inquiry.

Mr Austin retorted: “If the condition is that every document must have 100 per cent support in the town then the entire Vision document is at fault.

“It’s clearly something that most of the town supports, and it may not be 100 per cent but we are asking for an absolute commitment to just recognise pedestrianisation as the dominant view.”

He added that the town council had offered to fund a public inquiry.

It was agreed that Mr Austin would write down what the town council wants incorporated into the Vision document regarding the recognition of pedestrianisation and Mr Clews would consider it.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 13) Echo.