Traffic banned from town centre?

TRAFFIC could be banned from Weston town centre over the weekends according to ideas being floated by police. The resort s alcohol-related crime officer, PC Karl Waltho, has been in consultation with North Somerset Council and the Town Centre Partnership over plans to ban traffic from Regent Street from Monday to Friday.

TRAFFIC could be banned from parts of Weston town centre at weekends according to ideas being put forward by police.

The resort’s alcohol-related crime officer, PC Karl Waltho, has been in consultation with North Somerset Council and the Town Centre Partnership over plans to ban traffic from Regent Street from Friday to Monday.

Since the smoking ban came into force on July 1, removing the habit from the town’s pubs and clubs, the number of people spilling out onto the busy road has spiralled.

PC Waltho says this is a dangerous development as the street is on a bus route and the pavements outside the nightspots are narrow.


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He said: “People who have been drinking may find themselves having to dodge buses and it could potentially lead to a fatal accident.”

As well as safety reasons, PC Waltho says granting licences to pubs and clubs so they are responsible for land outside their entrances would make the town centre look more attractive as owners could place tables and chairs behind low barriers for smokers.

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Traffic is already banned from St James Street from 6pm every evening, giving the area a much more continental’ feel as part of a pilot scheme organised by acting Weston sector inspector Sgt Dave Holtby and town centre manager Steve Townsend.

PC Waltho added: “It would definitely have a positive impact upon the town. It looks horrible when you have people stood outside drinking and smoking. We have already got pubs which put tables and chairs outside their premises. The police want it to be better regulated.”

He says that one rule for all’ would also benefit the town’s elderly and disabled residents because it would make it easier for them to navigate outdoor furniture safely.

The authority’s highways manager, Paul Croft said: “The police have said to me that between Friday and Monday Regent Street is virtually un-driveable.”

He confirmed that proposals for licenses to allow tables and chairs outside pubs are now in the final draft stage and will go before executive member for highways, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, for approval.

Mr Croft added: “We are looking for the simplest set of rules possible but we will not be allowing awnings for pubs which just want to accommodate smokers.”

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