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New traffic plans would make Shrewsbury safer for children, say parents

Plans to reduce through-traffic and improve cycling options in Shrewsbury would encourage more people to visit the town centre, according to one local family.

Daniel Konn, who lives in Belle Vue with his wife and two children, said he welcomed the proposals outlined in the new Shrewsbury movement and public space strategy.

The document, published by the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership, suggests a number of ways of improving the town environment over the coming years, such as lowering speed limits and introducing traffic loops to reduce the number of cars driving straight through the centre of town.

Mr Konn said reducing the speed of traffic in residential streets like Belle Vue Road would make it safer for his children to walk to school.

“It feels very unsafe walking along Belle Vue Road because of the traffic,” he said. “The road is very busy at peak times and the pavements are narrow on one side, and almost non-existent on the other side.

“Families often have pushchairs and scooters, and walk at different speeds, so often end up crammed together, or trying to overtake each other, so the narrow pavement can get very crowded.

“Although most vehicles at these times stick to the 30mph speed limit, this is still too fast for the narrow road and relatively high likelihood of a child falling into the street.

“It feels to us like it is only a matter of time until there is a serious injury due to a child putting a foot down on the road or being knocked into the road, and being hit by a vehicle.

“Furthermore, because of the large volume of traffic, we and our children are being exposed to a lot of vehicle emissions, which we are aware has been shown to cause serious long term effects on childrens' health.”

Mr Konn said the extra pedestrian space created by closing High Street to traffic at weekends meant he and his family enjoyed visiting the town centre at weekends - but they were put off at other times due to the high level of traffic.

He said: “We often go into town between 10am and 4pm at the weekend when the town centre is closed to traffic. However, outside of these times, we avoid going in unless it is necessary due to the volume of traffic that we would pass when walking in and around town – both due to safety and pollution.

“For instance, during school holidays we often think about heading into town with the kids, but then realise it is not a weekend and hence there will be traffic, so then we don’t head in.

“We also like to think of the shops and cafe in Coleham as a local destination for us to spend time. However, the volume of traffic on Belle Vue Road, and also on Longden Road in front of the businesses puts us off, again due to safety and pollution.”

The Shrewsbury movement and public space strategy is currently open for public consultation.

Posted on 4th March 2024

by Big Town Plan Partnership