The Covid pandemic required Shropshire Council, acting through their Highways Department, to introduce a temporary one-way system in the town in order to try and facilitate greater social distancing.
The one-way system was introduced under a temporary traffic management order which is due to expire on 19th July.
Existing Arrangements are Unpopular
The existing arrangements with bollards have not proved popular as they are unsightly and not effective. The water filled bollards get displaced in towards the curb where they occupy much of the distancing space they are designed to create, whilst drivers report difficulties in parking in the newly formed spaces because car doors cannot open over them. Lorries have been seen having problems navigating them, leading to congestion, and they are widely regarded as an eyesore.
Possible permanent One-way system?
Some would like to capitalise on the existing temporary one-way system to immediately move to a permanent one-way system, but this does not have proven support from residents and there is no budget available from Shropshire Council to make these changes.
It would also preclude looking at the layout of the town centre in a fully joined up fashion.
See Shropshire Council’s Newsroom Announcement.
Town Council’s Decision
Shropshire Council gave the Town Council the option of:
- Leaving the one way system with existing water filled bollards in place for the indefinite future, maybe some years, or
- Removing the bollards and returning to the previous arrangements, including restoring the High Street to two way traffic.
At the Town Council meeting on the 29th June councillors voted to remove the one way system and return to the previous arrangement.
There will be a meaningful consultation with the town about traffic flow and the wider public realm later this year.