Traffic a thorny issue in town centre

Transport expert Tony Houghton discussed ways of improving Berwick town centre when he spoke at the civic society's Question Time session.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 28 February, 2016, 15:00
The Old Bridge in Berwick.

Mr Hougthon, who is now leading a Neighbourhood Plan working group, stressed that his views on transport were entirely his own.

Marygate he considered at present to be an unpleasant street with cars manoeuvring in and out of spaces.

With most shopping being done these days in supermarkets, it could become an area with distinctive shops with people being more aware of attractions such as the library and art galleries.

Another priority should be the creation of safe routes to school.

He revealed too that the old bridge is soon to be closed for renovation during which period it would be possible to see if its use for traffic was greatly missed. He suspected probably not much.

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From the floor, there was a query as to whether, with nothing signed yet, it wasn’t too late for a change of mind about Kwik Save.

Mr Houghton, who has a local government background, pointed out the significance of the Neighbourhood Plan as an element in the core strategy. This, he said, is a democratic process involving a good deal of consultation.

Sustainable transport, he observed, has become something of a buzz phrase. A report of 1961 indicated that towns were going to be unable to cope if car use went on expanding at an ever-increasing rate – or not – unless substantial urban areas were rebuilt to accommodate them, something unthinkable in Berwick.

He mentioned the competing claims of accessibility and the environment.

The aim of the sustainable transport policy was to create an infrastructure fit for people, rather than cars.