Haverhill: Town council to push for pedestrianisation of High Street

Should the High Street be car free?

Should the High Street be car free?

CLOSING Haverhill High Street to traffic is the “right solution,” its town clerk has said, following a heated meeting.

Pedestrianisation of the road was discussed at a meeting in the town on Monday, which was attended by about 200 people.

Haverhill town clerk Will Austin said a survey of High Street users found seven out of 10 people expressed a preference for closing the road to traffic between 10am and 4pm.

But at the meeting councillor Guy McGregor, cabinet member for roads and transport at Suffolk County Council, floated ‘shared space’ as a solution for the street, despite others voicing safety concerns due to the proximity of vehicles and pedestrians.

Mr Austin said: “We think it’s the wrong solution for Haverhill. We struggle to understand why the county council is so ardently in favour of it when there’s a scheme available to us which meets both the needs of the local community and what we see as the long-term needs of the town centre supported by expert research which says it will work.”

He said “the uproar” expressed at the meeting seemed to suggest the public were not convinced they were being listened to.

But Mr McGregor said pedestrianising the High Street “hasn’t been taken off the agenda,” adding all the options would be looked at after the county council elections in May.

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“We will be coming up with a number of suggestions to improve things in terms of the town centre. One which we floated was the concept of shared space, which we have put in in Felixstowe and, by and large, has been successful.”

He believed pedestrianisation of the High Street would be thrown out at a public inquiry due to objections over access to properties.

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