THE long-awaited removal of the barriers from the town centre has been welcomed by residents and traders.

Restaurant director Jane Dowler was among many business owners calling for barriers to be removed to enable shoppers and restaurant-goers to park for free on the street.

Knutsford street barriers

Businesses and residents have been calling for the barriers to be removed since last year

Jane, director of Evuna Restaurant and Bars, which has a restaurant King Street, had said: "Small towns like Knutsford thrive on the fact that people can nip into town and park for free to go for a bite to eat or nip into their favourite dress shop.

“Because of the barriers people can’t do this, and there is no need for them in the first place as the streets are empty. Also aesthetically they look awful and make the town look terrible."

Knutsford street barriers

The barriers being removed

Tatton MP Esther McVey who repeatedly called for the barriers to be taken down has welcomed their removal and urged everyone to get shopping locally.

She feared the 'unsightly' barriers, installed by Cheshire East Council, were giving the impression Knutsford was closed for business.

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Ms McVey said: “I am delighted the barriers have gone, I have repeatedly called for them to be removed as I felt it gave off the impression the town was closed and the last thing we wanted was to cause any further disruption for our businesses.

“Monday was been dubbed Freedom Day and before heading to Westminster I went for a walk in Knutsford to check whether the barriers had been removed and I was extremely pleased to see them gone.

"Now as a country we need to rebuild businesses and support them in any way we can as we move beyond the pandemic and I know people in Knutsford will do everything they can to support each other as we move forward.”

She hopes everyone will continue to shop locally and support local businesses as they did in the pandemic.

Residents are delighted that the barriers have gone.

Fiona Dragonetti said: "It felt so nice this morning seeing our beautiful town as it was."

Helen Joyce added: "Barriers needed to go, should have been removed months ago."

Michele Hoskins said: "Thank goodness for that, looks like home."

Nancy Walsh added: "Fantastic, our beautiful town looks so much better."