Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Could Ilfracombe follow Welsh example?

10:56 14 November 2011

A pedestrian only zone has been created at Tenby in South Wales with the closure of its town centre streets from 11am-5pm during the height of the summer season.

A pedestrian only zone has been created at Tenby in South Wales with the closure of its town centre streets from 11am-5pm during the height of the summer season.

Archant

A Welsh counterpart to Ilfracombe has found closing its high street to traffic in summer a great success.

THE idea of closing Ilfracombe High Street to traffic might seem daunting to some but for a very similar town just “across the water” in South Wales pedestrianisation has proved a success.

As part of investigating the possibility of introducing such a scheme to Ilfracombe Steve Seatherton of the North Devon Plus Joint Delivery Team travelled to Tenby in Pembrokeshire, where it has been operating since 2002.

As revealed in the Gazette last week, a task group has been investigating a range of ideas to regenerate Ilfracombe High Street, among them the idea of returning it to pedestrians, either full time or for a few weeks at the height of the summer.

“I have looked at other places with pedestrianisation and Tenby is as good a match with Ilfracombe as any we can find,” Mr Seatherton told the Gazette.

“It is a seaside resort and the topography looks and feels very much like Ilfracombe. They operate it in the summer months from 11am-5pm, seven weeks of the year, so it is a very small scheme.

“When the high street closed, people were putting tables and chairs outside, it was amazing – and it was packed.”

He said the Tenby model seemed to work, suiting traders and residents, but that park and ride car parks were key to its success and something that would have to be addressed if anything similar were ever introduced in the North Devon town.

The Gazette approached Pembrokeshire County Council and was told by Councillor Jamie Adams, deputy leader and cabinet member for highways and planning, that the summer scheme was now a regular feature of Tenby’s calendar and welcomed by the vast majority of visitors and residents.

“It eases traffic congestion during the busiest part of the year and makes Tenby more pleasant for everyone” he added.

“Tenby is a small town of narrow streets and in the summer its population swells from 5,000 to 50,000. Something had to be done as the streets were becoming choked with traffic so we decided to grasp the nettle so to speak.

“Now it’s part of the resort culture and locals and visitors alike expect the town centre to be traffic free in summer.”

The task group of town and district councillors, North Devon Plus and local business people says it is simply looking at it as an idea for Ilfracombe. A consultation with businesses is planned for early 2012 and then a full public consultation. Views can be emailed to andreabeacham@northdevon.gov.uk or posted online at www.theilfracombecentre.co.uk/ilfracombe-forum.

1 comment

  • What a wonderful idea! Oh please can it be so? It can only possibly be of benefit to all, and especially traders.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Ely

    Monday, November 21, 2011

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:37
Torrington Mayfair 2016. Pictures: Sarah Howells

Torrington celebrated its annual Mayfair tradition today (Thursday) - view the photos and catch up on the action here.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:40
Natalie Jones. Picture: Michelle Ley

A 31-year-old has been charged with causing the death of Ilfracombe’s Natalie Jones after fatal collision last August.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00
The Bideford Secondary Modern reunion at Durrant House Hotel. Picture: Sarah Howells

The Bideford Secondary Modern girls’ reunited at the at the Durrant House Hotel after 65 years.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:31
Author Stephanie M Turner shows the new book to some of the Combe Martin Primary School pupils who contributed.

Short stories written by Combe Martin schoolchildren have made it into a professionally published book.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:30
Chulmleigh RNIB volunteer Christine Smith has been responsible for raising three quarters of a million pounds for the charity.

Christine Smith has dedicated more than 40 years to the RNIB plus countless other local and national charities

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Westcroft School pupils with the old uniform they are donating to Oxfam. Picture: Sarah Howells

Two Bideford school and merged and donated their old uniforms to help families in Africa.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:30
Nicole Hickin, co-ordinator at the WOW North Devon Scrap Store. Picture: Sarah Howells

Volunteers are needed at project in Barnstaple which promotes reusing waste for a sustainable future.

Read more
Wed, 17:36

Councillors turn down controversial proposals to earmark the region for wind energy

Read more
Wed, 17:16
North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones (right) with Steve Crowther, Michael Pagram, Joanne Bell, Mark Cann and David Chalmers on the estuary near the Yelland site.

Cross party call for end to ‘planning vacuum’ that favours developers

Read more
Wed, 12:18
Barnstaple's Queens Theatre

North Devon councillors have agreed an offer from North Devon Theatres Trust for the leasehold of the Queen’s Theatre and the Landmark Theatre.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications