'We could give it a cosmopolitan feel' - your views on pedestrianising The Parade in Leamington

Your views on the idea of keeping The Parade closed to main traffic after lockdown restrictions are lifted

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 11:46 am
The Parade in Leamington has been pedestrianised since last June but now a town centre resident is set to launch a petition to make this permanent.

Last week we reported that a Leamington town centre resident is launching a petition to bring about the permanent pedestrianisation of The Parade.

Hafeez Ahmed, of Binswood Avenue, says many of his neighbours have said they will support the petition which would lead to the town's centre's main shopping street becoming pedestrainised past lockdown and after Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Click here to read our previous story on this.

As expected, this led to many views on social media - both for and against the plans.

Here are two of the letters we have received on the matter. Send your views to [email protected]

PEDESTRIANISATION IS A GOOD IDEA - BUT IT NEEDS TO BE DONE PROPERLY

I read your article in last week’s Courier regarding Hafeez Ahmed’s petition to keep The Parade a pedestrian area.

I personally am also in favour of the pedestrianisation as long as the majority of residents (maybe a two-thirds majority) want it, but if the decision is taken to make it a permanent feature there are certain essential changes that need to be made.

The current red and white barricade blocks situated at the top and bottom of The Parade and at the Warwick Street and Regent Street junctions make the town look more like Lebanon than Leamington.

The lower stretch of The Parade between The Town Hall and The Regent Hotel has far more cars on it than pedestrians (predominately Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat drivers collecting takeaways from Regents Court eateries). Most people continue to walk on the pavements as there are still too many vehicles allowed to enter the rest of the area whilst skateboards and scooters (be they motorised or not) charge down The Parade at breakneck speeds. At a rough guess I estimate that the council pays around £200,000 a year to CJs Events to supply staff to keep this halfway-house supervised (four staff on duty at any one time, 11 hours a day and 7 days a week).

If we are indeed going to bite the bullet then retractable bollards need to be installed (as in Stratford-Upon-Avon) allowing emergency services access when required but with effectively a blanket ban on other motorised vehicles. Maybe deliveries that cannot drop at the rear of properties are only allowed access in the early mornings or late evenings. These changes would allow cafés, restaurants, coffee shops and bars to have tables and chairs permanently outside in The Parade itself – I don’t think there are any cases where both sides of The Parade would be blocked by this so essential vehicles could always zig-zag through when needed! Adding more benches and large flower pots would also give it a more cosmopolitan feel. To complete the permanent pedestrianisation look the current road surface could be raised to match the pavement and we might as well move the street lights from the centre islands to the buildings flanking The Parade – after all, we have an extra £200k a year in the pot now, don’t we?!?!

Dave Collett,

Albany Terrace, Leamington.

THIS COULD HELP REVIVE OUR TOWN CENTRE

On page three of this week's paper there is an article about Hafeez Ahmed who is about to launch a petition to make the pedestrianisation the The Parade permanent. Well done Mr. Ahmed. I would like to support such a petition, so please can you give it wider coverage? I have found shopping there a far more pleasant experience than previously and I know a few people from other towns who would make an effort to come to Leamington to enjoy shopping in a traffic free environment. This could help revive our town centre.

Janet Bevan

Leamington