Angry traders oppose pedestrianisation plan

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Twenty parking spaces will be lost if the street is pedestrianised and more drivers will be forced to use multi-storey car parks.

Under the complete pedestrianisation proposal the road would be paved over, making way for European style al fresco dining.

Drivers would be forced to turn left at Fridays Café Bar but taxis would have access and vehicles unloading goods would also have limited access during certain times of the day.

Three proposed developments were presented by Deputy Guy de Faye to market traders, Halkett Place retailers and residents at two separate meetings on Thursday.

As well as the complete pedestrianisation plan, two semi-pedestrianisation plans were presented.

Eight parking spaces would be lost under the alternative plans that would see an extension of the pavement from Fridays up to the Diamond restaurant.

One proposal suggests that timber decking is used to extend the pavement while the other outlines plans to lay down granite slabs.

Concerned shopkeepers believe it will affect their trade because people will no longer be able park outside their shops.

Giuseppe Francescon, owner of Gio’s Italian restaurant said: ‘I am strongly against the proposal.

Once this place is pedestrianised our evening trade will suffer.

‘It should be left how it is now.

Drivers like to see if the place is full or atmospheric.

I cannot see my clients wanting to have meals outside.

I think this street is one of the coldest, most windy places in town and I would prefer to have my guests inside in the warm.

We had a meeting and the majority were overwhelmingly against pedestrianisation.’ Shop owner Peter Le Rossignol added: ‘Al fresco dining is fine for three or four months of the year but in the winter it will be deserted.

If people can park opposite my shop they can dash across and nip in and out.

But if access is made more difficult it will undoubtedly affect trade.

‘Deputy de Faye acknowledged that the majority of people at the meeting were against the proposal and I am certainly not in the minority in my thinking.’ Other retailers refused to comment because they said protests were futile as they believe pedestrianisation in some form is a foregone conclusion.

But some businesses in the area have reacted with delight at the proposal such as Fridays’ bar manager Chris Tanguy.

‘I am totally for it,’ he said.

‘It will create a cleaner and more environmentally friendly town.

‘My vested interest is to have al fresco dining because I think we should follow the Europeans.

People are ruled by the car but it’s a matter of re-educating them to either get a bus or park at Minden Place.

I think the development would make the area far more pleasant.’

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