Fierce debate expected over pedestrianising Stalybridge town centre

FIERCE debate is expected when a proposal to pedestrianise a key part of Stalybridge town centre is put up for discussion.

A number of differing opinions have already been put forward after it was suggested that traffic be prohibited from both Melbourne Street and Market Street.

Parts of Market Street and Melbourne Street could be pedestrianised

Councillors and business leaders have spoken out against the suggestion, which was one of a number drawn up after funding was made available through the office of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.

Now members of the public will have their chance to say what they think when it is brought up at the neighbourhood forum on October 19.

Stalybridge South’s Cllr Liam Billington, who has long campaigned for improvement to the town centre, said he expects a ‘bit of a bun fight’ when it is brought up for discussion.

And the Conservative representative said: “The council is already trying to distance itself from it, saying it’s just a proposal so don’t worry about it.

“There’s a backlash. Lots of people have said they do not want it and I think this would be the last stage before a decision is made on what scheme gets the go ahead.

“We are happy for any form of consultation to take place.

“From there, it will go to Tameside Council’s strategic planning committee.”

Fellow Stalybridge South Conservative Doreen Dickinson is equally against the proposal.

She said: “Parking and access already puts people off going to Stalybridge, and this is going to make it even worse.

“I have read many times about too much pedestrianisation killing town centres, and this is another example.

“I think it will be a disaster for the town as we already have too much pedestrianisation.

“The problem is that Stalybridge is a pop-in town and not somewhere you go for a couple of hours.

“And if those areas are pedestrianised it will make it much more difficult for them to do that.

“There is already a lack of parking in the town centre and this proposal would end the short-stay parking on Melbourne Street.”

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