French street could provide blueprint for solution to town centre problem

French street could provide blueprint for solution to town centre problem

A car drives down the shared space road in south west France

The street in Aire-sur-l’Adour with pedestrians walking down it

First published in News Knutsford Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , News Editor

THESE pictures show what Knutsford’s two main streets could look like if a ‘shared space’ scheme is implemented in the town.

The scheme is used in Aire–sur–l’Adour, a town in the south west of France.

The working group of Knutsford Town Plan showcased the results of its King Street enhancement work – which began as a consultation in April – to Knutsford Town Council in September.

After counting the responses, the group revealed the shared space scheme was the favourite with residents.

But town plan members said at the time it would not take place until 2016 at the earliest.

However Bill Gore – a town plan member – wants to keep the idea in the public’s consciousness and give the town something to talk about.

He told the Guardian: “This scheme would enhance the town centre. It would improve safety as well as helping the disabled and those who are blind. These pictures show what it would like look on Knutsford’s two main streets, King Street and Princess Street.

“But is this what Knutsford wants? We need to hear from the town. Bob Quin’s team has done a good job, but we need to pursue this until the bitter end. We believe the shared scheme will benefit the town and bring in the footfall.”

The scheme in France features different colours for the road surface and path, guide posts for the blind and partially-sighted and loading and parking bays.

Bill added the scheme was linked to the current town strategy being formulated by borough council bosses.

“This scheme is also in the town strategy as well as all the homes, but we need to make sure we’ve got the infrastructure in place before the homes come,” he said.

“People who say if it’s not broke don’t fix it are wrong. We’ve got to increase the number of people coming to the town. Some of the businesses are starting to come around to it and understand it’s not pedestrianisation.

“I want people to talk about this – contact the Guardian, the town plan, Cheshire East to try and get this sorted.”

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