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Banning vehicles in town centre should be permanent

Councillors at Newbury Town Council have backed a motion by West Berkshire Council to ban vehicles from Northbrook Street, Bartholomew Street and the Market Square.

They even went as far as saying the move should become permanent rather than the temporary proposal put forward by West Berkshire that would see a trial take place between June and September.


Speaking with fellow Councillors, Cllr Sue Farrant said the idea would make the Town Centre more of a humane environment and that it would support local businesses as they need all the support they can get.


Although the vast majority of the Town Council were supporting the proposal, Cllr Masters did raise questions about disabled access and the need for work to be done to change people's perceptions about the idea. He said: "We are going to have to take the less enthusiastic with us. This is about re-shaping Newbury and rejuvenating the Town Centre."


Cllr O'Keeffe summing up as Chair of the meeting added: "We should seize the moment and go for bust rather than waiting."


One voice skeptical about the idea was Cllr Moore, who stated 24 hour pedestrianisation might not be the answer.


According to Improved Districts, in a report by Living Streets showed that shoppers on foot can spend up to six times more than those who arrive by car, and that people value walkable destinations and investment in the public realm.


Meanwhile Eco Efficient Design say such ideas have their downsides. This includes an increase in pollution and traffic in neighbouring areas along with rise in stress among drivers forcing them to other shopping districts.

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