RESIDENTS have given their overwhelming backing to plans to discourage through traffic, to offer more parking and multi-storey parking and limit parking on King Street and Princess Street.

The results emerged from a consultation conducted by Knutsford Town Council in February and March on proposed changes to traffic and parking arrangements in the town centre.

These form the first stage of a comprehensive town centre masterplan, and the consultation attracted 658 responses, one in 10 coming from businesses.

A proposal to discourage through traffic was supported by 65 per cent of those who took part, with 79 per cent backing plans for more parking and a multi-storey car park and 77 per cent in favour of limiting parking on King Street and Princess Street.

When asked if people supported this three-part scheme as a first step towards securing the future of Knutsford town centre, 58 per cent agreed.

The consultation attracted comments on a range of issues, including traffic congestion in the town centre, the conditions of the pavements and the need for a bypass.

Residents highlighted traffic congestion on the A50 and Adams Hill caused by closing King and Princess Streets to through traffic.

They said drivers were confused by the proposed road changes and disappointed at having to drive around the town, not through it.

There was support for a multi-storey car park, especially at the Tatton Street car park, but concern that unless well designed it would be out of keeping with Knutsford’s heritage.

Residents voiced concern that a multi-storey car park on the King Street car park would spoil the view from the Moor, and traffic along Moorside posed a hazard near the children’s playground.

A number of residents wanted to be able to park near a shop and call in for a few minutes, free of charge, and others suggested King Street should be pedestrianised.

Enforcement of the double yellow lines was another issue raised, as was the state of the pavements in King and Princess Streets and the need to consider the particular needs of town centre residents.

Low-cost parking was suggested for town centre employees, and some people said the town ultimately needed a bypass.

A report on the consultation has been prepared and will be published in July when the recommendations from the town centre working group are presented to the town council.