Crewkerne Town Councillor, Ben Hartshorn, has called on the Highways and Transport department at Somerset County Council to implement a one-way traffic system in Market Street as shops reopen. In a letter to John Woodman, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at SCC, councillor Hartshorn quoted the Government’s message to local authorities that they need to “take measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling, both to encourage active travel and to enable social distancing during restart.”
Councillor Hartshorn said: “On the basis that our main street has narrow pavements, not wide enough to maintain social distancing as pedestrian numbers increase and the number of vehicles makes it impossible to use the road safely, to avoid other shoppers I’ve proposed a simple solution: We implement the one-way system used for the fair in Market Street, as shops reopen.”
Somerset County Council previously held a public consultation on a proposed permanent one-way system for Market Street, having identified a narrow foot-way on the western side of the road and relatively high traffic flows on what is the main retail street, which was found to be ‘not a conducive environment for shoppers.’ The public consultation showed that 58% of the responses supported the proposal with 28% against it.
Councillor Hartshorn said: “This system is almost universally accepted to improve traffic flow, while increasing space in Market Street for traders and pedestrians alike. The cost would be minimal and the work to establish the benefits of and support for this suggestion has already been done. We’re just lacking the political will to make it happen.” Councillor Mike Best, who represents the Crewkerne ward at Somerset County Council has also been called on by councillor Hartshorn to get behind this idea, “to keep us safe and get the local economy back up and running.”