Call to end town centre Covid measures in Chepstow

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Thursday, September 16th, 2021 7:46pm

By Saul Cooke-Black - Local Democracy Reporter

Temporary measures introduced in Chepstow town centre during the Covid-19 pandemic should be scrapped, a senior councillor has said.

But the council says the measures remain trials and they can be removed if “insurmountable problems arise”.

The interim measures aimed at supporting town centres – which have included more pedestrianisation and outdoor trading space – have proven popular in Abergavenny and Monmouth, but traffic access issues have been reported in Chepstow.

Concerns have been raised about a part-time closure of the town’s High Street to traffic except to blue badge holders accessing disabled parking.

And at a Monmouthshire council cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Paul Pavia said it was time to get rid of the measures in Chepstow.

“I would like to see them repealed as soon as possible,” said Cllr Pavia, who represents the Larkfield ward of Chepstow and is the cabinet member for education.

“I think that’s the right way to go. We need to go back to a status quo that allows traffic to flow through the High Street.”

Cllr Jane Pratt, who has responsibility for infrastructure and neighbourhood services, said she would be happy to meet with Cllr Pavia “at the earliest opportunity” to discuss the situation.

“These are temporary measures. They can be removed if insurmountable problems arise,” she added.

Cllr Pratt said the measures were not being made permanent, but that extending traffic orders provides the authority with the flexibility to do that, adding the council wanted to “thoroughly test them” while longer-term solutions are drawn up.

She said the council would hold meetings to gather feedback on the measures in each area of the county.

“It’s very important we continue to support businesses and growth and resilience in our town centres,” she added.

Cllr Bob Greenland, deputy leader and member for governance and strategic planning, said the longer-term aim was to make town centres “more pleasant places” where people would spend more time to visit, with a range of different attractions.

The cabinet agreed to putting traffic measures in place to allow the trial measures to be tested for up to 18 months.

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