The main shopping area of a Flintshire town could be opened to traffic for the first time in more than 20 years as part of a bid to boost trade.
Senior councillors are being asked to consider removing a pedestrianisation order which is currently in place in Buckley town centre for a trial period.
The local authority believes it would allow shoppers to make short visits to businesses with only a handful of on-street parking spaces available at present.
It follows a similar scheme recently being implemented in Holywell on a permanent basis following a successful six-month test.
Buckley’s main streets were originally pedestrianised in the mid-1990s at a cost of half a million pounds to the former Alyn and Deeside District Council.
But local councillor Dennis Hutchinson believes its successor Flintshire Council should asks the town’s residents for their views before deciding whether to remove the order.
He said: “There needs to be a public consultation because there’s an awful lot of interested parties, both for depedestrianisation and for the maintenance of pedestrianisation.
“To be fair to both sides they put up a good argument, however it’s about the town and the people of the town.
“They need the opportunity to come forward and express their views and opinions before any decision is made quite frankly.
“Going back to when it was decided in 1995, there was some form of consultation because it was a major public investment.”
According to a report set to go before the authority’s ruling Labour administration next week, the cost of reopening the streets to traffic on a temporary basis would be £5,000.
The figures include the price of advertising the scheme and installing new signs.
If given the go ahead by cabinet members, the changes would also need the approval of Buckley Town Council before moving forward.
It forms part of a wider review of parking arrangements in the town which could see free short-term parking brought in at the Brunswick Road car park.
In the report, Flintshire Council’s deputy leader Carolyn Thomas said: “The availability of a small number of free, short stay, on-street parking spaces in a town centre is essential to allow shoppers to make short visits to collect shopping and staff from the portfolio have worked with each town council to review the number of spaces available.
“The local road layout in the area around Buckley town centre does not permit the provision of on-street parking and this may discourage shoppers who may wish to visit the town for short periods.
“This report provides a solution which would balance the provision of free short stay parking spaces in Buckley to more closely reflect that available in other towns across the county.
“The report also seeks approval for a pilot scheme to remove the existing pedestrianisation order which is currently in place in Buckley town centre, to further improve access to the town.”
The proposals will be considered at a cabinet meeting beind held on Tuesday, October 22.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).