Of course it was an April Fools: Radical new plans to pedestrianise Shotton High Street
Flintshire County Council has revealed plans to pedestrianise Shotton High Street and create a Heritage Retail Trail.
The radical plan is the brainchild of Bohica Planning a global consultancy best known for their Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich.
The plan will see a stretch of Shotton High Street from Wetherspoons to the border with Connah’s Quay and Brook Road closed off to traffic and the road paved with lightweight durable slabs.
The regeneration scheme will open the road up to pedestrians, there will, of course, be no change for cyclists who will continue to have priority on the walkways as stipulated in a 1947 Shotton Town Council By-Law.
It’s hoped that pedestrianising Shotton High Street will stimulate a much-needed High Street recovery and help develop a continental-style cafe culture Shotton desperately needs to compete with rivals Chester and Birkenhead.
Businesses will be invited to apply “before we exit” for an ‘EU Plastic Furniture Grant’ commonly used in parts of Spain and Greece to create al fresco dining areas.
Free support will be on hand from Flintshire County Council school dinners team to help cafes and takeaways develop attractive continental menus.
The proposed Retail Heritage Trail will be a first for Wales and incorporate revolutionary two-way digital technology.
Each shop will be fitted with a ‘digital waypoint” these will link to pedestrians mobile phones as they walk past sending commentary on the shops historical facts and background to phones.
Commentary will be supplied live by local councillors who will be based in Wetherspoons, pedestrians will be able to ask commentating councillors a selection of questions from agreed pre-determined list, once it has passed through the formal 18 month ‘scrutiny phase.’
Officials believe this will be a cost-effective approach to delivering better value for money from elected members for a much-needed service.
Councillor Barry Tindle chair of the Shotton Heritage Innovation Taskforce
“This is a really exciting phase for Shotton High Street one i’m proud to put my name to, the council’s mission to raise costs and lower standards in light of austere austerity has seen a host of innovative ideas from our task force of independent consultants, ideas which will benefit the whole community.
“Like everyone else i get very frustrated stuck in the infamous Shotton traffic while queuing for hours to get past a solitary traffic cone and since the advent of social media complaints about traffic, ones we used to be able to hide away are now very public and a bit embarrassing. By getting rid of cars from Shotton High Street we will in due course get less complaints.
“The retail heritage plan is a rapid response to a service delivery gap we discovered in our retail heritage plan for 2016/17, an important part of any young person’s education is the understanding of where Woolworths and Tesco’s used to be in Shotton, most kids nowadays are to busy spraying shops with graffiti and turning Shotton into a war zone, this plan is very much centred around addressing the issue through education.
A consultation on alternative routes will be launched in the Autumn, so far two preferred options Route A through the pay and display carpark and behind Iceland and Route B – (to be confirmed) have been chosen, the consultation is expected to last around a week.
Work will begin next Summer on pedestrianisation and is expected to take between 8 and 18 months, the council have apologised for the disruption the work will cause but say “you are all used to it by now”
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