Consultation is a two way street

South shore residents are being urged to vote now on plans to reverse the one way traffic system.

South shore residents are being urged to vote now on plans to reverse the one way traffic system.

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LOCALS are being urged to have their say as plans to reverse a controversial one-way system go out to consultation.

Planners have given residents until Friday to vote whether Bond Street in South Shore should be put back to two way traffic or left the way it is.

The once thriving shopping street was changed to one-way in 2008 as part of the redevelopment of the area,

But business owners say it had a devastating impact on passing trade and turned Bond Street into a “ghost town” characterised by boarded up buildings.

Last July however, following a campaign by local residents and businesses, town hall chiefs promised to reverse the works – a scheme which will cost an estimated £80,000.

Now as the consultation reaches its final days, it is vital residents register their views according to Patrick McPartling, chairman of the area’s Police and Community Together (PACT) forum.

He said: “This is a golden opportunity for us to make sure this work goes ahead. We fought so hard, it’s vital people fill in the form.

“We will be collecting them and handing them in to the town hall ourselves so we know we’ve all done all we can to make this finally happens.”

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The consultation letter warns more than 30 parking spaces will be lost in the reversal but trader Dennis Taylor does not believe this is the case.

He said: “I’ve counted the spaces and firmly believe no more than six will be lost.

“The fear of losing spaces is making a few people scared but it’s so important this is reversed.

“One-way systems do not work in commercial areas, Bond Street never should have been changed.”

Community leaders have also given their backing to the scheme.

Coun David Owens said: “My worry is people won’t take the time to register their views.

“This needs doing urgently to help Bond Street regenerate so people shouldn’t hesitate.”

Coun Tony Lee added: “This work was supposed to be finished by Easter and I really hope it will be.

“The last thing traders need is this work happening through the season.”

But Coun Fred Jackson, Cabinet member for Streets and Transport reassured locals.

He said: “The council has resolved to reverse the one way system.

“We always consult about any changes to the highway and that’s what we’re doing at the moment, focusing primarily on businesses on Bond Street as they will be the most directly affected.

“We fully expect the scheme to be endorsed and implemented before the start of the summer season.”

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