THE pedestrianisation of Roundhill could be explored by Fordingbridge Town Council.

It was discussed during a meeting of the town council last week.

The pedestrianisation of that area is due to be featured in a survey about the town which will seek the views of residents on this and other matters and whether they wish them to be pursued further.

Other matters such as introducing 20mph speed limits are also due to be covered in the survey. A date is still to be set for the finalised survey to go live.

However, the idea for Roundhill divided opinions with some concerned it would increase traffic as a result of it being diverted to other areas.

Cllr Alan Lewendon said the survey would need to outline the positives and negatives of pedestrianising Roundhill, which he said could result in more traffic going along the high street, Salisbury Street and The Bartons and Green Lane.

Town mayor, Cllr Edward Hale, added: “That is a disadvantage particularly with the parking at The Bartons. It’s quite difficult to get through there sometimes.”

He said there could be some objections from residents and there were “disadvantages” to pedestrianising that area.

Cllr Malcolm Adams said this had “come up many times” in the past and it “wasn’t as simple as everybody thinks”.

He also said in addition to the problems that come with traffic being diverted to other areas there were problems in terms of unloading and loading and it would “create more problems elsewhere”.

Cllr Nobby Goldsmith feared people would still drive in that area if it was pedestrianised.

Deputy mayor, Cllr Anna Wilson called for the council to hold a public meeting to allow residents to look at ideas being put forward. She said: “Obviously, we all have different opinions about it and that is why we should have some sort of public display and let people give us their feedback.”

Cllr Mike Jackson said the town council needed to “start the debate” and a survey was a way of doing this. He said it would give an “indication” about what people thought.

“If we don’t start the debate we’ll never get anywhere,” added Cllr Jackson.

This was echoed by Cllr Diane Paton who felt the survey would be a way to “move” things forward and getting the public’s views and then a public meeting could be held with more details.

The survey question regarding Roundhill, which was read out at the meeting, was to consider improvements to the Roundhill area and whether it should be pedestrian access only with vehicular access restricted to access to properties.

Cllr Wilson said: “It is also how much do we value having an open space within the town centre. We have very little open space. We have got the market square and that is about it.”

She felt the current situation in the area was “pretty dangerous”.

Cllr Hale said the council was prepared to see what people in the town thought and would consult with residents.

Fordingbridge business owner Tim Devane said Roundhill was “out-of-date” and it “should be designated a crown in the jewel of Fordingbridge” and populated for pedestrians and people wanting to use the area for events not for the car.

Later in the meeting councillors agreed to go ahead with a town survey, which will be done online. Paper copies would also be made available.


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