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

15:44
The ‘Prudence’ Prize at Barnstaple Quay, 1590, painted by Mark Myers in 1977 and gifted to the North Devon Maritime Museum in Appledore. The ‘Prudence’ is pictured to the left of the main ship in this painting. Picture: Mark Myers/North Devon Maritime Museum

Major blow for Prudence project as £2m bid rejected by Government Ministers.

Read more

Chaloners Road has been re-opened between Braunton and Knowle after a car overturned at Corilhead Corner this afternoon (Monday).

Read more
15:02
Bus services in Devon could be facing cuts as the county council struggles to save money. Picture for illustration only.

People urged to have their say as Devon County Council begins a consultation on cutting £1.7m from public transport.

Read more

60-year-old man allegedly had his head stamped on in The Tavern at the weekend

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

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
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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

North Devon's trusted business finder