New scheme to beat Burselm town centre queues
MAJOR plans have been drawn up to boost trade and ease traffic queues in a town centre.
Motorists, shoppers and traders are being consulted on the plans for Burslem town centre later this week.
They have been drawn up by Stoke-on-Trent City Council after traders called for free parking in the town.
Its proposals include:
Having more on-street short-stay pay-and-display town centre parking in Market Place and Queen Street;
Redesigning part of St John's Square to create more parking spaces and landscaping;
Replacing the traffic light-controlled crossings in Market Place, Moorland Road and Waterloo Road with zebra crossings;
Stopping traffic turning right at the Market Place / Waterloo Road / Moorland Road junction;
Creating an additional pedestrian crossing across the Waterloo Road / Moorland Road junction.
This week's consultation comes months after traders started a petition calling for free parking in the town centre.
Amy Rhodes, aged 21, who is the manager at HedRush Express hair salon, in Market Place, Burslem, said: "We already have quite a lot of short-stay parking.
"The nightmare is finding anywhere to park all day that isn't too expensive.
"At the moment we have to find somewhere free to park on the outskirts of Burslem and walk into the town.
"It can affect your trade if clients are reluctant to take up extra treatments because they have to get back to their cars."
Beautician Hannah Vaughan, aged 24, added: "A lot of people go to Hanley instead of Burslem for the day because they can park for eight to 10 hours and take their time in the town.
"But at the moment in Burslem, even going for dinner around here, you can feel pressured because you're constantly aware of how much time you have left to park."
Shopper Jamie Cunningham said: "It would be good if there was a 30-minute free parking area because there's nowhere to leave your car if you just need to nip to the cash point or into the newsagent's. Sometimes I leave my car on double yellows and then you get in trouble with traffic wardens."
The public consultation is at Burslem School of Art, in Queen Street, between 2pm and 6pm tomorrow, and at Swan Bank Methodist Mission, in Swan Bank, from 9am to 1pm on Thursday.
City Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said: "This scheme will provide a vital economic boost. It can stimulate investment, draw in more visitors and shoppers and improve traffic movement to ease congestion."