Blackpool Council invite comments on making St John’s Square a traffic-free zone

Blackpool Council is asking local residents and businesses for their opinion on closing St John’s Square to all traffic.

Under the existing order, traffic has been restricted to enable this area to become a pedestrian-friendly zone. Only buses, taxis and other authorised vehicles (such as emergency services) can access this area, with delivery vehicles also permitted between 6pm to 10:30am only.

The ETRO applies to the roads surrounding St John’s Square including Cedar Square, Birley Street, Adelphi Street, Carter Street, part of Church Street (from St John’s Square to Corporation Street) and part of Abingdon Street (from Church Street to Cheapside).

After extensive engagement with the local community from June 2023 until December 2023, Blackpool Council have reviewed the feedback which showed a relatively high percentage of respondents would feel safer if this area was closed to all traffic, including taxis and buses.

The consultation period will now be extended to carry out further engagement, with particular focus on whether St John’s Square and the surrounding area should be closed to all traffic outside of servicing hours.

If a traffic-free zone is implemented, the area would be closed to all vehicles (with the exception of authorised vehicles such as emergency services). Barriers and bollards would be locked between 10.30am and 6pm to prevent access.

Members of the public, businesses and all interested parties are invited to provide feedback and share their views, helping to ensure the future use of this area meets the needs of the town.

The consultation is available on the Blackpool Council website from today, Wednesday 6 March until Tuesday 30 April, visit www.blackpool.gov.uk/Consultations for more information. Hard copies will also be placed in Blackpool’s Family Hubs and libraries.

Focused engagement efforts will also continue with low-vision and other disability groups to ensure their experiences of accessing the area are fully considered.

Cllr Paula Burdess, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Street Scene and Neighbourhoods, said:

“The traffic restrictions that are already being trialled in this area have been received positively, but it’s clear from the community engagement feedback that more restrictions might be needed to improve safety around St Johns Square.

“Traffic behaviour in this area has been a safety concern for some time and we’re keen to address this and create a town centre that is safe for both pedestrians and road users.

“I would urge everyone who uses this area to have a read of the consultation and put their views forward to ensure the future use of this area meets the needs of businesses, residents and visitors of the town.

The current ETRO restrictions will remain in place and enforceable while further engagement with businesses and the community is carried out.

Further details of the ETRO and how to be involved in the consultation process can be found at www.blackpool.gov.uk/StJohnsTraffic 

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