A move to clear cars out of Chippenham’s Market Place area has come a step closer.

Councillors have backed spending to ban parking in the area around the Buttercross.

The area has been pedestrianised and for the last two years, improved with a pop-up park with artificial grass and picnic tables in the summer months.

But the highways rules have never been updated to ban vehicles from the area.

A report to town councillors said ‘the continued use of vehicles in the area has presented an ongoing risk to public safety’.

Wiltshire Council is now being asked to increase disabled parking alongside the existing taxi rank so that vehicles other than those making vital deliveries can be kept out.

The report said: “Chippenham Town Council has aspirations to maximise the potential of the Market Place by creating a pleasant and safe environment for the public enjoy, installing improved street furniture, wooden planters including street trees and supporting future events.”

And it added: “No more using this public space as a car park.”

Wiltshire Council had said it was happy to foot the cost of bringing in new rules as long as the town council contributed £750 towards it.

Councillor David Poole told his fellow town councillors that access was needed for deliveries.

But he said: “We’ve got one of the main pedestrianised areas, yet we’re allowing cars to park there on it, and allowing cars to come and go all day. It’s dangerous, and it’s high time we tidied this area up.”