A Shaftesbury councillor has demanded that the temporary High Street pedestrianisation is scrapped immediately.
Cllr Peter Yeo claims it is unnecessary and is harming businesses. He was the only councillor who opposed the daytime road closure during last night’s Planning meeting held on Zoom.
Shopkeeper Jason Allum said he has spoken with 48 businesses who want the pedestrianisation scheme altered because it has adversely affected them. Jason also advised councillors that if they heard rumours suggesting that he had been forceful in securing his petition signatures, they were untrue.
Council officer Brie Logan presented different figures. She said the Town Council had spoken with 68 businesses and ‘the vast majority’ were ‘happy with their trading performance’ and the 9am to 4pm restriction. The pedestrianisation is monitored by a working party of representatives from Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce, Shaftesbury Town and Dorset council officers and councillors.
Brie revealed that Dorset Council had not informed this group that it was reintroducing buses to the High Street on 1st September. Cllr Philip Proctor said it was ‘dumped on us’ and described Dorset Council’s action as ‘galling’.
Brie advised the meeting that the temporary road closure will continue as a COVID safety measure from Monday to Saturdays, but the working party felt there was reduced demand for Sunday closures. Further business feedback will be gathered during the next fortnight.
Listen to our full report of proceedings at 1:07.