Banning traffic would ‘cut town in half’ - Horncastle Mayor

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Councillors in Horncastle have voted to support pedestrianising a busy street - even though it would ‘cut the town in half’.

That was the warning from Mayor Coun Brian Burbidge amid claims banning traffic from St Lawrence Street would help improve safety and generate a Continental cafe-style culture in the Market Place.

St Lawrence Street connects High Street with Coning Street but is narrow and cobbled.

It is used by vehicles accessing car parks - and as an alternative to avoiding delays at junction of High Street and the Bull Ring.

It is also heavily used by pedestrians, prompting fears about safety.

Proposals to ban traffic were included in Horncastle’s much praised Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Town councillors have frequently discussed a ban, without calling for any action to be taken.

Speaking at this month’s town council meeting, Coun Dominic Hinkins said he favoured closing St Lawrence Street to traffic, from Mantle’s fish and chip shop.

He also suggested an adjoining road in front of the Post Office should be closed.

He said: “I think it is an excellent idea. It is closed for markets. There’s chairs and tables on the street. There’s a Costa there now.”

Coun David Roark said closure would involve moving the town’s taxi rank while Coun Burbidge said: “There are other issues as well.

“It would cut the town in half.

“I understand the reasons for it but I think it would be the wrong thing to do.”

Coun Burbidge said he favoured better signage and a 10mph speed limit.

He was supported by Coun Bill Aron who said: “It (St Lawrence Street) is taking a lot of heavy traffic from the Bull Ring traffic bottleneck.”

However, Coun Matthew Wilkinson said he could not believe the town council was still debating the issue, pointing out all councillors supported recommendations in the Local Plan.

Councillors agreed to approach the County Council for advice on how to proceed with a pedestrian only scheme.