A more vibrant town centre and an increase in business for local traders are two of the planned benefits of a scheme to make Keswick town centre more pedestrian friendly.
Work got underway yesterday (Monday July 13) to extend the town’s pedestrian zone to include the remainder of Lake Road within the shopping area as far as Derwent Street/Borrowdale Road and down the cul-de-sac section towards the pedestrian underpass, as part of an experimental traffic order.
All vehicles will be prevented from entering the pedestrianised zone –including Market Square - every day between the hours of 10.30am and 4.30pm.
By making the town more pedestrian friendly it is hoped greater numbers of people will use local shops and provide a boost to traders.
To achieve the overall benefit of full pedestrianisation for most of the day, adjustments are being made to delivery arrangements for local businesses with loading bays being provided on the central car park perimeter road, Station Street and Myrtle Terrace near Bell Close.
Disabled parking bays are being put in on Derwent Close and taxi bays on the central car park perimeter road, although taxis will be permitted in the pedestrian zone outside the prohibited times.
The work, which includes making changes to existing signs, putting in three new signs, changes to road markings and the creation of two small footway build-outs –where the pavement is built out into the road to provide a safer pedestrian crossing point - is due to be completed by the end of this week with enforcement of the new regulations starting at the weekend.
It has been timed to take place before the school holidays to cause as little disruption as possible.
The experimental traffic order was approved by Cumbria County Council’s local committee for Allerdale earlier this year following extensive consultation with local people and businesses and alterations were made to take into account some of the comments received.
Councillor Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: "These new regulations will ensure the town is more pedestrian friendly and should help attract more people to the shopping areas, providing a boost for local business.
"The traffic order is experimental, so time is being allowed for comment and modification if this is necessary, but I’m sure pedestrians –both local people and visitors to the town will really feel the benefit of this scheme."
Media enquiries to media officer John Ballard on 01228 226330.