At last night’s Planning Committee meeting of the Town Council Councillors resolved that removal of free parking spaces in the High Street (widening of pavements) should happen only where cafes, pubs and restaurants actually want and need it. They also demanded that this be actioned very soon.
A change from the earlier position, agreed at the Full Council meeting on 29 June where all free parking was to be taken away.
Traders and Councillors present at the meeting voiced concerns that this whole process has dragged on too long and that if something wasn’t actioned fairly soon the summer would be over and there would be little point in making any changes.
Cllr Mervyn Hall proposed:
- That there should only be widening of pavements with bollards to give space to those cafes, pubs and restaurants wanting it
- That the situation in Kingsbury Street (i.e. around the Bike Shop and Dress) and The Parade be addressed in terms of improving safety – it is viewed as the High Street
- Safety signage be included in the scheme (the scheme does not cover promotional signage)
- That sanitizer (gel) stations be installed
- The agreed process for future monitoring of the scheme be clarified by Wiltshire Council
This was agreed by Councillors, but with the understanding that any decision on the scheme rests with Wiltshire Council – as the Town Council has no authority over the Highway.
There was call for involvement from the traders in the High Street. Businesses felt unrepresented and ignored. Pete Davies, of Marlborough Photo called for the Council to listen to and work with the retailers. “This is a great opportunity to approach us as a collective of businesses where we can start to show what our local expertise can do.”
Councillors also voted that part of the scheme include – if necessary – the temporary move of the disabled space, currently sited adjacent to the Wellington Arms at the Western end of the High Street to a more central position near to Waitrose.