Pedestriansation of the Parade in Leamington: residents and business owners react to the news that measures are set to be removed from the town centre soon
We have asked Courier readers to share their views on the matter
Courier readers have been letting us know what they think about the pedestrianisation of the Parade in Leamington coming to an end this month.
Warwickshire County Council has said "its intention is to remove all measures on June 21 however this will be dependent upon the next Government announcement relating to social distancing guidelines".
The Parade, the main road through the town centre, has been pedestrianised since June 2020 to help with social distancing and while some have been supportive of making this situation permanent, others will welcome the news that traffic will be allowed to use the road and drive across its junctions in Regent Street and Warwick Street in a couple of weeks' time.
We asked readers to get in touch with us at The Courier to share their thoughts on the situation.
Ignaty Dyakov-Richmond, said: "I dread thinking about The Parade re-opening and try enjoying the last days of a stress-free and quiet environment, with fresher air and more space.
"I hope that by seeing the contrast on June 21st, even more people will back the Parade staying car-free.
"There are ways to make our town centre accessible for those less able to walk and create the space where everyone enjoys spending time and don't jeopardise their physical and mental health.
"Michael Green added: "I think opening up the Parade to traffic again is the most ridiculous decision by the [county] council.
"There will be another bottle neck at the corner of Warwick Street again with all buses waiting to get to bus stop, and fumes polluting the atmosphere.
"It's been really pleasant walking down town with no traffic get chance to actually see the shops think it will drive people back to shopping parks where u can shop without having to smell traffic fumes."
Gareth Dore owns and runs the Cellar Club in the Parade and has recently had the bar refurbished so it was ready to have customers back in after it has had to close for lengths of time during lockdown.
He has contacted Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzie Seccombe to see if the pedestrianisation can remain at least for longer if not permenantly.
Gareth said: "It would literally rip away the business we need outside to help recover.
"Tonight we’ve been full on the Parade and it’s been great for the bank balance.
"We have six tables out the front and it gives us great exposure.
"They [the county council] need to realise we need to repurpose town centres before we lose out to others that look forward.
"We can create a destination that people can enjoy, not just have dirty buses ruining it."
Paul O'Keeffe has lived in Clarendon Street for 30 years.
The road is currently on the diversionary route for traffic with its bus stops serving as a hub for routes in and out of the town centre.
Paul said he did not mind having to put up with the increased traffic while Coronavirus restrictions are currently in place but is against the Parade being pedestrianised permanently.
He said: "A bus passes my window every two minutes.
"It's like living at the side of a motorway."
A petition has been set up for the permanent pedestrianisation of the Parade.
Dentist Dr Hafeez Ahmed, who lives in Binswood Avenue in the town centre, has launched the petition titled Creating a Tranquil Town Centre for People & Pets and it is active for people to sign on the council's website until Tuesday June 15.
For more information click here.