Calls for busy Knaresborough streets to be pedestrianised

A campaign has been launched to pedestrianise popular areas of Knaresborough.

By Brogan Maguire
Thursday, 25th June 2020, 12:30 pm

Knaresborough Civic Society is urging North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) to consider banning vehicles from Castlegate and the Market Square in a bid to protect the town's heritage and give more room for social distancing.

The Society is now calling on other groups to come forwards and back the campaign.

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The Knaresborough Civic Society is calling for Castlegate and the Market Square to be pedestrianised.

Chairman, James Monaghan said “Now is the ideal time to take bold steps to enhance Knaresborough’s public space, improve the pedestrian experience and make our streets safer.

"People keep talking about seizing this opportunity to make positive changes to our town centres, but we have seen very little action.

“Castlegate is a popular shopping destination with narrow pavements. On busy days you already find shoppers walking down the middle of the street and maintaining social distancing on the pavements is impossible. Removing through traffic will make this area safer and a much more pleasant place to shop."

The group also thinks the pedestrianisation would help restaurants, bars and cafes during the pandemic as they would have more outdoor space.

James added: “Removing cars from the Market Square, in front of the old town hall, would allow businesses to use the space for outside eating and drinking, and give tourists more space to circulate. And this space could be used for town events throughout the year without the need for expensive road closures.”

NYCC has now confirmed that plans are in place to trial the idea.

Highways area manager Melisa Burnham said: “In considering social distancing measures, we are liaising with key stakeholders. A highway engineer has visited these locations in Knaresborough over the last few weeks to observe the social distancing and assess possible measures. Trial closures on the Market Place and Castlegate will take place next Wednesday.

“We recognise Knaresborough Civic Society as a key stakeholder and will ensure they are engaged in the discussions regarding temporary measures to facilitate social distancing and future considerations of the town’s highway network.”

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