6 February 2021
A narrow Shrewsbury street, described as one of the town’s most dangerous roads for pedestrians and vehicles, has secured approval to switch permanently to one-way thanks to the campaigning work of residents and the area’s Green Party councillor Julian Dean.
New Street in Porthill, which temporarily switched to one-way to aid social distancing last year, will be redesigned so that it becomes permanently one-way. In addition, a 20mph speed limit is expected to be introduced on New Street, Pengwern Road and part of Copthorne Road, with scope for an extension up Woodfield Road to link up with the 20mph zone outside Woodfield Infants and St George’s Junior schools.
Councillor Dean says: ‘This represents a real victory for local people, for common sense and for the creation of a cleaner, safer local neighbourhood. New Street has been a site of concern for many years and it has taken a lot of campaigning by local residents and myself to convince Shropshire Council of the need to change.
‘Over 200 residents have fed in to the consultation which has led to this plan. It’s been wonderful to see so many people engaged, and the plan reflects local views. These new changes will make the street safer and the neighbourhood itself more inviting for walking and cycling.’
Shropshire Council officers are currently working on a design brief for the proposed changes which will include the retention of New Street’s current contraflow cycle lane, as well as infrastructure changes to make the new speed limit self-enforcing.
There is also a proposal for an additional pedestrian crossing on Copthorne Road, near the Barracks development, which Councillor Dean is pursuing. Meanwhile, planned town centre changes – including introducing a low-traffic zone - should reduce through traffic coming across the Welsh Bridge towards Frankwell.
Says Councillor Dean: ‘In terms of the big picture we know that we need to find ways to make cycling and walking safer and more inviting right across town in order to reduce our reliance on cars. We also know there’s public support for this across Shrewsbury. We’ve had two summers where the town centre was pedestrianised almost by accident because of essential road works and the pandemic. Now nobody wants to go back to how things were before. We’re seeing a real public appetite for reduced car dominance on the streets where we live, work and play.’
‘Sadly, the current administration has had to be dragged every step of the way towards a cleaner, greener town. In September I proposed trial Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and that was voted down on the recommendation of Councillor Davenport, the Transport Portfolio Holder. Three months later, the logic of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods is winning. It would be much better if we had a council leadership that was actually prepared to lead on these issues. The only way to do that though – as our neighbours in Hereford have recently shown by cancelling their bypass – is to elect more Green councillors.’