November 3, 2010
Burnham shop owners give thumbs-down to pedestrianisation
Shop owners in Burnham-On-Sea have this week given a thumbs-down
to controversial proposals to pedestrianise part of the town's
The plans to pedestrianise the High Street between Adam Street
and Cross Street - which are on show to the public this week at
a three-day exhibition - were attacked by businesses at Wednesday
night's Chamber of Trade meeting.
are concerned that the pedestrianisation scheme will hurt trade
in the town centre, instead of encouraging more shoppers into
Burnham as intended.
Bull, from Bull's Opticians, told the meeting: "My main concern
is that this scheme is not universal. Only one part of the High
Street will be pedestrianised, which makes it inequitable - certain
businesses will be impacted and others won't. It's not equal.
No-one wants this scheme to go ahead in its present form, but
we all want to see Burnham improved."
Alex Turco, Chairman of the Burnham Civic Pride group, which
has been working on the proposals, said that he had voted against
the Civic Pride group adopting this scheme in the wake of the
County Council's decision not to allow a one-way system in neighbouring
Adam Street and Cross Street and also to request the scheme is
in place 24 hours a day.
"I don't believe the scheme will provide any economic benefit
to Burnham. You cannot just close part of the High Street and
expect the town to continue functioning as normal," he said.
Hairdresser Peter Noad told the meeting: "I can't see any
need or benefit for pedestrianisation. Burnham is just a small
town - we don't want it. There is no support from businesses here."
And Juliette Farnese from the Mr Beans cafe on the High Street
voiced her concerns. "It's ridiculous that only a small part
of the High Street is being pedestrianised when we need to help
the whole High Street. It should be left as it is, the identity
of Burnham will be hurt."
Ollie Farnese added: "I can see this causing traffic congestion
problems in the summer months, putting off shoppers coming here."
Edwards from Material Needs added that he believes the pedestrianisation
money would be better spent along the whole high street.
Indeed, those present at Wednesday's meeting agreed they would
prefer a tidy up of street furniture, such as lights and signs,
through the whole Town Centre to improve the shopping environment
as an alternative. It was agreed that the Chamber would continue
to engage with Civic Pride to achieve this.
Burnham Chamber of Trade members took a vote at the end of the
meeting and all bar two of the 20 people present voted against
the pedestrianisation scheme.
Residents and businesses in the town centre have been urged to
send their feedback on the proposals to Somerset County Council
by the deadline of November 17th.
public exhibition showing the plans in detail is being held at
the former Thresher's off licence shop in College Street on Thursday
4th November, Friday 5th November and Saturday 6th November from
10am until 5pm each day.
Last month, Sedgemoor District Council's Executive unanimously
agreed that over £158,000 of funding can be spent on creating
the pedestrian-only zone.
Pictured are (top) some of the shop owners who attended
Wednesday's meeting in Burnham's Somerset and Dorset pub; (centre)
how the scheme could have looked; and (above) county council surveyors
at work in Burnham High Street last month