Today, I have written to Cllr David A Bithell, Deputy Leader of the Council & Lead Member for Environment and Transport to outline the findings from my recent consultation regarding the pedestrianisation of the High Street in Wrexham.
In the letter, I note that many businesses along the High Street are supportive of a public realm scheme to pedestrianise the street, as they hope that this will allow their businesses to expand their outdoor seating creating an attractive hospitality zone. This, in turn, will help support the local economy. Businesses along the High Street have also noted their concerns about dangerous driving at night-time and many believe that the pedestrianisation of the street could help prevent this.
I also know that the emergency services are supportive of changes, especially from a public safety point of view.
However, I know that other town centre businesses have noted concerns that any permanent pedestrianisation of the street might discourage people from visiting businesses during the day. As such, I would urge the Council to be mindful of the convenience of the street for day-time parking too, which in turn supports Wrexham’s day-time economy.
From my conversations with many businesses, residents, and stakeholders, I therefore think it is important that the Council balances the needs of the daytime and night-time economies. A temporary closure of the road in the evenings, for example, would give hospitality businesses along the street the opportunity to expand their outdoor dining, creating an attractive area, and would limit any negative impacts on the daytime economy that I know some are concerned by.
I now look forward to hearing more about the Council's proposals, and I have urged them to now provide clear timescales for any project too.
The full letter is below: