Bodmin's Honey Street could lose pedestrian-only status
BODMIN'S Honey Street could lose its pedestrian-only status with plans to allow vehicle access.
A nonplussed town council has leaned from a Cornwall Council officer that consultations are planned to reclassify the street and allow motorists to drive through, although parking will be restricted at all times.
Town councillors are now demanding more information from the local authority about the plans.
Traders in Honey Street are aghast at the idea of stripping the street of its pedestrianised status, with one shopkeeper describing the plan as "lunacy".
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It is believed the proposal may form part of an alternative traffic management plan for Bodmin, instead of a new road going through the top of Priory Park, which caused protests among residents earlier this year.
More than 500 people demonstrated against the new road proposal and a petition signed by 2,000 residents opposing the move was sent to County Hall.
A spokesperson for Cornwall Council denied there are plans to allow vehicles to drive through Honey Street.
She said: "There are no proposals to change traffic access on Honey Street.
"Throughout the county, we have been attempting to address the issue of drivers parking in pedestrian areas under the powers available to local authorities. This means introducing 'No Waiting Restrictions' on roads.
"Any change to the restrictions to a road have to go to public consultation, however we are not proposing to go to consultation on this issue in the near future.
Town councillor Lance Kennedy, said: "Cornwall Council's response (to the Cornish Guardian) seems to completely contradict the information the town council received about the proposal to change the classification of Honey Street, which was quite specific.
"It will be interesting to know who has suggested putting traffic back into Honey Street, and I also wonder if its a coincidence that this had come to light now, just before a public exhibition is to be held on new traffic management plans for Bodmin.
"Personally, I would want to keep Honey Street a pedestrian zone, and would like to see Fore Street part-pedestrianised to give everyone a better shopping experience."
Honey Street Traders chair Laura Galvin, who co-owns The Sports Shop, said there was an urgent need for Cornwall Council to announce what is planned within the new public consultation exhibition.
"We have heard nothing since the Priory Park protest march, and we need to know as a soon as possible what the new plans are.
"If one of the proposals is to remove pedestrianisation from Honey Street, that would be utter madness, because it would be very disruptive and significantly affect trading. We really need to know what the new traffic management plans involve," she said.
Balu Madhvani, who runs Jai the Jewellers in Honey Street, said: "I know there have been ongoing problems with people parking at the bottom of Honey Street, but taking away its pedestrian status would be lunacy.
"Traders here have done so much to make Honey Street attractive for people to walk down."