Town backs one-way system

A majority of residents favour creating a one-way system in Oakham town centre as part of a redevelopment scheme.

Rutland County Council put forward two proposals for the town’s High Street in June.

Councillors and officers felt that the roads and pavements were near the end of their life and improvements were needed.

The authority put forward two schemes for the public to view and vote on.

Option A sought a one-way system between New Street and Mill Street, with wider pavements, trees, a revised parking layout with loading bays for shops and more public seating.

While Option B kept the current two-way flow on the High Street with an enhanced pedestrian environment and road space to calm traffic and give greater priority to pedestrians.

Both designs also include improvements to the Market Place.

In total 952 people took part in the consultation.

The result saw 501 people, or 53 per cent, favour the one-way system and 422 people, or 44 per cent, picked Option B.

Twenty-nine people, or three per cent, responded without indicating a preference.

Councillor Tony Mathias (Con), leader of the council, said the authority could do nothing leading to further decline.

He said: “The prospect of a one-way system was not universally popular when we held the consultation in June and we have since gone away and looked very seriously at all the feedback we received.

“A number of responses raised concerns around the effects of diverting traffic from the High Street onto other nearby roads, and what impact this would have.

“Traffic surveys and modelling were carried out during the early design stage and concluded that a one-way system was feasible.

“Residents have indicated their preference and this is the option we are now looking to take forward.”

Consultation on more detailed designs for the High Street will be examined in the New Year. Approval to fund the work will be sought after the detailed design and target costs are established.

Details at www.rutland.gov.uk/meetings