I WAS surprised by the remarks of Coun Mick Murphy (a Hucknall Conservative member of Notts County Council) reported in last week’s Dispatch (‘Inner Bypass Set For More Delays’) to the effect that he thought that shopkeepers would welcome having buses stop outside their shops.
The reason for my surprise is obvious, they do that now!
The Local Plan has been successful in many ways and one very recent letter, entitled ‘Good Decision-Making Has Saved Hucknall From Decay’, supported that plan.
In addition to the developments that have taken place, the plan called for the pedestrianisation of High Street along its full length.
Consequently, an alternative route for traffic was required that appears on all plans as the inner relief road. This road is often referred to as the inner bypass but is not consistent with the definition of a bypass, neither has it anything to do with any previous ideas for a Hucknall bypass.
The current scheme does not fulfil the original intention, as half of High Street will be unaltered and it seems that the other half will contain a mixture of pedestrians and buses, a very strange combination.
In this case, none of High Street will be truly pedestrianised.
Many people have tried to justify the new road in its own right on the claim that it will speed vehicles through Hucknall. However, nothing is further from the truth.
The inner relief road has been drawn from the outset as a road no wider than High Street and with just as many junctions as High Street. There is no way it will ever improve traffic flow, especially as the planned scheme will make Station Road more congested than the present arrangement.
Ironically, I think that Coun Murphy has hit the nail on the head. What the shopkeepers and the public want is a town centre that has easy vehicular access to the shops. With the old Local Plan about to expire and set to be replaced by a new one, there could not be a better time to bring in a brand new scheme for the town centre along the lines suggested by the councillor.