East Riding of Yorkshire Council is currently consulting with residents, consumers and businesses in Howden on proposed temporary changes to the town centre in order to increase safety.
Plans for Howden town centre reprioritisation proposals are to temporarily pedestrianise Market Place and/or High Bridge for a 12-month period or until social distancing measures are removed, in order to make more space for shoppers to move around safely.
A consultation survey – which runs until Wednesday, 17 February and can be found at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/HowdenRoadMeasures/ – examines the extent of this area and the possible details of the scheme, including how changes to the town centre could result in improvements for businesses across all sectors.
This is part of a package of measures, including a COVID Recovery Plan for the town centre, which will consider aspects such as parking, accessibility and way-finding in the town.
Three specific temporary pedestrianisation options are explored in the consultation: a small area in Market Place; a larger area including High Bridge; or a ‘do nothing’ option.
Councillor Victoria Aitken, portfolio holder for economic development at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Despite being known as having a thriving footfall, Howden Market Place also has some of the narrowest pavements in the East Riding, and due to the ongoing pandemic safety precautions, this poses a risk to social distancing.
“We know that now is the time, under the ‘new normal’, to boost consumer confidence and make our high streets prosperous, so by sharing these consultation proposals we want to ensure that that confidence in safety does not decrease when the high streets reopen.”
The consultation asks a number of questions about how the town centre is used, who uses it, and how they feel about the proposals, asking stakeholders their views on the scheme’s details.
If the temporary changes are agreed, the council would use an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.
The consultation survey is delivered through the Reopening High Streets Safely (ROHSS) Fund, which is European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) aimed at helping businesses and town centres face the challenges ahead, which include making public spaces next to businesses safer.
The council is working hard to prepare town centres to become safer places for customers of all ages in 2021, and it will support the local economy by working with businesses and encouraging footfall and spending.
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