Roadworks would 'kill' Oswestry town centre

Published date: 15 June 2017 |
Published by: Emily Davies 
Read more articles by Emily Davies  Email reporter


 

Major roadworks would “kill” Oswestry town centre, a former mayor has said.

Councillor Chris Schofield was addressing potential plans that would see roadworks lasting two months to improve the state of English Walls and Smithfield Street.

The roads had previously been described as being in “an alarming condition” following a meeting between highways engineers from Mouchel, working on behalf of Shropshire Council, and town councillors.

Cllr Schofield chairs the Oswestry Townscape and Transport Forum – a group established to look at improving the town centre road layout to boost the economy – which is currently awaiting a separate report into what improvements should be made.

He said: “Two months of roadworks could kill the town centre. This is one of the main arteries coming into the town centre.

“It’s up to councillors, when the documentation comes in in early July, to decide.

“We did voice that two months is too long for that road to be closed.”

Councillor Mike Coppock, who owns a town-centre business, said the ideal time of year for any roadworks would be the autumn or the spring.

He continued: “It would be best if it’s not in the summer months because of tourism, and also it should be before the Christmas build-up, so September and October, or January and February, would be best.”

Mayor Councillor Vince Hunt said the major concern is how the road is impacting pedestrians and cyclists currently, noting: “It’s a bit of a difficult situation. The problem is the road is failing and it could have serious consequences for pedestrians and cyclists and we need to think about that.”

However, Councillor Sandy Best told the meeting: “Although it would take two months, there would be no more work for another 20 years.”

A further meeting with Mouchel is due to take place in the coming weeks.

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