Holywell ‘has nothing to lose’ by opening high street to cars

Reporter:

David Humphreys

A TOWN centre has “nothing to lose” by opening up its streets to cars it has been claimed.

Flintshire Council has proposed reviewing its pedestrianised zones in Holywell and Buckley in a bid to boost trade.

The plans form part of a wider authority car parking strategy which also includes the implementation of car parking charges in Flint incrementally.

The pedestrian zones have been in place in Holywell since 1992 and Buckley since 2000.

As part of the proposals, Holywell Town Council and Buckley Town Council will be asked their view on whether they support the plans – before they are taken any further forward.

Discussing the plans during Friday's meeting of the environment overview and scrutiny committee meeting, Cllr Chris Dolphin said opening the high street up to cars would give Holywell a “boost”.

He said: “I think three-quarters of people would want the high street open.

“Shopkeepers and businesses should be consulted because they need to survive on footfall.

“There’s nothing to lose for Holywell and I hope this council can look at funding because it needs a boost.”

Cllr Joe Johnson said it should be put to the public to decide what happens next.

“A lot do want this to happen and a lot don’t. I don't know where we're going to go with this,” he said.

“We need something like a referendum to decide.”

Streetscene manager Harvey Mitchell said the informal consultation was being sought with town councils ahead of any move.

Members also discussed the implementation of parking charges in Flint, bringing it into line with the rest of the county.

Charges were suspended in the town due to the redevelopment work and as part of the review, the council is set to swap current parking restrictions so spaces closest to the centre are limited to 30 minutes for free, rising to an hour further away from the centre.

Proposals to remove the cycle path on Church Street to allow for parking spaces to be installed will also be looked at.

Cllr Vicky Perfect said: “Charges are inevitable and it’s reasonable to charge 20p to park in the town centre.

“The cycle path is not used very much so it would free up space and £2 a day to park at the station isn’t unreasonable. It’s not unreasonable for us to join in.”

Consultations will be launched throughout the summer on the parking charges before the introduction at Flint railway station and Swan Street as well Bolingbroke and Richard Heights.

The remaining locations should be completed by June 2018.

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