Saturdays wil not be the same now

HAVING had pedestrianisation in Felixstowe on Saturdays for more than a decade, it’s puzzling why it’s going to be scrapped now.

As part of the new “pedestrian-friendly” zone being created in Hamilton Road between Boots and Bank Corner, the councils are planning to let the traffic back in again.

This seems very bizarre.

According to the highways experts the new shared space scheme – where people can wander about wherever they want and the cars will crawl along and be patient and avoid them – will reduce vehicle speed to about 10mph and cut traffic by 90 per cent.

Unless you are a Blue Badge holder, you will no longer be able to park in the main stretch of Hamilton Road.

Otherwise, unless you are making a delivery, there is no reason for most to drive down there.

With the changes at the top of Bent Hill, this will all make it very unattractive for people in vehicles to use the street.

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I can understand all this reasoning and, of course, the success of it will depend hugely on the parking being properly policed and killing off old habits of drivers who have taken this route for decades – hopefully the six-month closure for the work will have helped in that respect.

However, I am very concerned about the re-opening of the road on Saturdays between 10am and 5pm

Over the years people have gradually got used to the freedom to wander in the traffic-free area – suddenly bringing cars back in will cause uncertainty and danger and is surely unnecessary.

Cars don’t use it now and find other routes, other places to park. Now it will simply encourage vehicles back in.

Not only that. Surely there will be a need for frequent road closures – if the chamber of trade is hopefully successful in its bid to hold a full programme of streets fairs and markets and other events – which will only bring more confusion.

It seems while pedestrians and drivers will take some time to get used to the new shared space, Saturdays will never be the same again.