AMBITIOUS plans to tackle Knutsford's traffic and parking problems need the support of the townspeople, says the town council.

People are encouraged to have their say on a scheme to tackle the problems of too many cars in King Street and Princess Street and too few parking spaces at busy times.

The town council is consulting on a limited vehicle access scheme as the first stage of developing a masterplan for Knutsford town centre.

The consultation runs until March 13, and people are being asked to watch a video explaining the issues and plans, and check out detailed information before giving their feedback by completing a short survey.

Town clerk Adam Keppel-Green said: "Across Britain many town centres are in decline. Knutsford too must take steps to ensure its long-term vitality and economic prosperity.

"We need to preserve and develop the town’s distinctive character – its unique selling points – the qualities and experiences which draw people to shop and socialise here, to live, work and visit here.

"The Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan, approved by public vote in 2019, promised to develop a Masterplan for the town centre.

"As a first stage, making the town more pedestrian-friendly, with less hazard and pollution from slow-moving traffic in our main shopping and dining streets, would clear the way for the possible development of small public squares and other amenities.

"Following years of complaints about the hazards of traffic in the narrow streets and difficulty in finding a parking space, a town council working group has developed proposals to deal with the twin problems of too many cars in King and Princess Streets, and too few parking spaces at busy times."

The scheme has three inter-related aspects.

Firstly, limit traffic travelling along King and Princess Street by blocking a short section of each so vehicles cannot drive straight through. Changes would be made to the one-way streets and to the traffic lights by the police station. A new entrance into the car park behind Waitrose would be made from the A50 King Edward Road.

Secondly, make better use of existing public parking areas, and encourage development of one or two multi-storey car parks with offices or apartments above.

Finally, have fewer parked cars in King and Princess Streets, and enforce the ‘no parking’ regulations.

The council said these changes would give pedestrians a better experience of being in town, and allow the development of Canute Place and the short road in front of The Lost and Found as public spaces.

Adam added: "When will this happen? It may not happen. It depends on the people of Knutsford – shop and business owners, town centre residents, people who work here, and the Knutsford public – getting behind the scheme.

"Cheshire East Council must fully support it too. Each building development will need the land and property owners and development companies to invest.

"Some changes could be made within a few months, though it could all take several years to complete. The ideas would be implemented in stage, with specific consultation and approval required on each. Without your positive support, nothing may happen."

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People are asked to watch the video, read the consultation documents and discuss the proposals with friends and colleagues. Details are in the report ‘From Top to Bottom Street’ which is available to read in paper form at Knutsford Library. Please fill in the short questionnaire at: Feedback Questionnaire.