At the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee on Wednesday January 20, councillors voted in favour of plans to implement Saturday road closures in Wickford High Street.
The decision means the high street will be pedestrianised every Saturday for a period of six months. The six month trial period is planned start in March, at the same time as the launch of the new Wickford Market – though this is dependant on the situation regarding the lockdown.
The council undertook a survey back in January 2020 to determine the level of support from local businesses and high street visitors to potential road closures. With over 400 responses, the results of the consultation found that respondents were overwhelming in favour of closing the road on Saturdays.
Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee, Councillor David Harrison, said: It’s important that Wickford High Street is revitalised to ensure it becomes a sustainable retail and leisure location for the future. This pedestrianisation, alongside the launch of the new Wickford Market, is an exciting development for the future economic viability of the high street.”
“Our consultation showed us that this initiative is overwhelmingly supported the high street businesses and the residents of Wickford, so I’m glad we’ve been able to deliver the outcome that the people of Wickford wanted.”
Funding of £70,000 has been allocated from the Reopening High Street Safely Fund to support the Saturday closures of Wickford High Street. This intervention will enable Wickford Market to be relocated to the high street so both traders and residents can benefit from further social distancing measures.
Basildon Borough Council is receiving up to £165,814 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Reopening High Streets Safely (RHSS) project up to the end of March 2021. This funding will continue to enable the council to deliver an array of interventions as part of its Shop Local Shop Safe campaign in order to help businesses and keep local residents safe.