Alnwick street trial starts in July

One of Alnwick’s main shopping streets is to be closed to traffic in a trial aimed at further improving the town centre.

The pedestrianisation of Narrowgate between Fenkle Street and Bondgate Within will come into effect on July 29 - creating a safer and more pleasant experience for locals and visitors in the street.

Options for this area of the town centre were put forward for consultation at the Alnwick Forum event late last year, with pedestrianisation being the preferred choice of traders and many of those who attended.

The Alnwick Forum is a partnership between Northumberland County Council and Alnwick Town Council,  aimed at improving and securing the future of the town.

Traders are now being encouraged to come up with creative ideas about how the new pedestrianised area could be used during the trial period, with planters being temporarily installed to block off the road to vehicles and bunting being put up on the street.

Businesses are being urged to feed any ideas into the Chamber of Trade to help create a welcoming area for shoppers.

Alnwick County Councillor Gordon Castle said: “There was a great deal of support for this scheme and we are very hopeful the new pedestrianised area will prove to be a success for traders, residents and visitors.

“These streets were built long before motorised traffic and Narrowgate by its very name is not a wide street and does not lend itself to a comfortable mix of heavy traffic and pedestrians. We think this is an excellent opportunity to revitalise this key part of the town centre.”

Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, added: “Across Northumberland we’re working to improve our town centres and a key part of this is listening to what local communities want.

“As with any changes to our road network it may take a bit of getting used to and we’d ask drivers to take extra care while they become accustomed to this closure..”

Alnwick Town Council Mayor Lynda Wearn said: “A pedestrianisation scheme has been discussed for a number of years and I’m pleased that a trial is to start shortly.

“I look forward to seeing the outcome.”

During the trial the traffic levels around the town will be monitored to measure the impact of the closure and the trial pedestrianisation scheme will be reviewed in 12 months time, before deciding upon what permanent changes need to be made to the road and pavements at Narrowgate as well as any other improvements that are needed to the local highway network. 

Drivers who have previously used Narrowgate to get in and out of the town should now use the alternative routes via Fenkle Street or Dispensary Street which will be clearly signposted.
 
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