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Low-traffic neighbourhood proposed for Stamford

A group promoting reduced car reliance in Stamford is calling for low-traffic neighbourhoods to be created, starting in the centre of the town.

Connect Stamford is supporting a St George’s Residents’ Association proposal to include St George’s Square, St George’s Street, Maiden Lane, Gas Lane, St Leonard’s Street, Blackfriars Street, St Mary’s Street and St Mary’s Place in a low-traffic neighbourhood.

If it is given the go-ahead, the streets would be closed to through-traffic, meaning people could drive to it to reach homes, businesses and parking, but not through it.

The proposed area for a low-traffic neighbourhood in Stamford
The proposed area for a low-traffic neighbourhood in Stamford

The aim is to stop the mainly residential roads being used as shortcuts, and to improve safety for those walking or cycling.

Connect Stamford founder and chairman, David Taylor, said “Research has shown that where low-traffic neighbourhoods are introduced, people walk and cycle more, that roads are safer, that air quality improves and that they aid community cohesion.

“There are many examples across the country where these initiatives have been successfully introduced.”

Chris McLeod, a founder member of the St George’s Residents’ Association, said he had witnessed “significant and often dangerous” problems caused by “excessively high levels of traffic using roads that were never intended for such a purpose”.

He added: “The roads we are proposing for an low-traffic neighbourhood are all, in the main, rat runs, in most cases too narrow for two vehicles to pass and have the narrowest of footpaths.

“This proposal, which will be subject to a full consultation with residents, is likely to include the pedestrianisation of a section of St George’s Street, adjacent to Marks and Spencer, which was closed for several months last year with no negative impact on traffic movements but many benefits to local residents, including improved safety for pedestrians and environmental gains.”

The proposal will need the support of Lincolnshire County Council, which looks after the county’s roads and footpaths.

Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Kelham Cooke, a trustee representing the council on Connect Stamford, said: “The aim is to deter through-traffic, not remove all traffic and I am pleased to support this initiative.

"It will help tackle notorious rat-runs in Stamford with the added benefits of making them safer and more attractive to pedestrians and cyclists, and to the town’s visitors, reducing congestion and improving air quality.”

According to research by Auto Express magazine, of 138 low-traffic neighbourhoods created in the past year, 13 have been changed back to being through roads.

What do you think? Would you like your road to become part of a low-traffic neighbourhood? Email smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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