Kingston council consults on proposal to pedestrianise Memorial Square

Kingston council has launched a consultation on proposed plans to pedestrianise Memorial Square in a step toward creating a safe pedestrian route between Clarence Street and the Ancient Market Place.

Work will begin September 2016 and if approved, the nine disabled parking bays currently in the square will be reallocated around the town centre, including such locations as Fife Road, Union Street and Ladybooth Road.

Councillor Hugh Scantlebury, Chair of the Kingston Town Neighbourhood Committee at Kingston Council, said: “This square is a very popular link between the major shopping attractions of Clarence Street and the Ancient Market Place.

“However, the parking spaces do create a barrier, discouraging people from fully exploring the town centre.”

He said: “It simply doesn’t make sense to have cars manoeuvring and parking in such a high footfall area.”

Katie, from Accessorize, thought it was a great idea and that vehicles shouldn’t be allowed on Memorial Square unless it was “absolutely essential” – such as emergency vehicles.

She added that she “didn’t think it would affect business” as long as parking was provided elsewhere.

Margaret, 37, from Kingston, saw “no reason why it shouldn’t be pedestrianised” and it would make the area “look better” if there were no cars passing through.

The council met with Kingston Centre for Independent Living (KCIL) to ensure the proposals met their expectations and reported that the group, who help disabled people live more independent lives, were “satisfied” with them.

Councillor Hugh Scantlebury finished by saying: “My hope is that as many people as possible get involved with this consultation, and that we can make Kingston better, together.”

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