U-turn over car-free Arundel

Tarrant Street had been closed previously for festivals. Picture: Charlie Waring
Tarrant Street had been closed previously for festivals. Picture: Charlie Waring

Plans to ban cars from part of Arundel have been dropped just days after they were announced.

Councillor James Stewart, mayor of Arundel, announced last Monday that Tarrant Street would be closed one day a month in order to allow pedestrians to explore the shops, galleries, restaurants and bars in a relaxed, vehicle-free area.

However councillor Stewart confirmed today that the scheme would not be happening.

“In response to letters and public questions raised at the town council about the loss of the banks and the ‘demise of Arundel’, we planned an initiative which we thought would support the economy of Arundel,” said councillor Stewart, who lives in Tarrant Street.

“Initially the plan included the move of the Farmers’ Market from their current location into Tarrant Street on these days.

“But despite working with them on this for some time it was only in January 2017 that we heard from the Farmers’ Market that they could not practically make the move to Tarrant Street.

“On hearing this news we did think that we should continue the closures on Farmers’ Market days anyway and make a monthly special day for Arundel.

“But in light of the issues raised and without the full support of residents and businesses we felt that the time is not right to proceed with this.”

David Wood, a director of Arundel Farmers’ Market said the idea of moving the market to Tarrant Street was explored at the request of Arundel Town Council.

However the street was too narrow for stalls to be easily set up in the morning, makeing the scheme ‘logistically impractice’, he added.

The mayor remains convinced that a traffic closure scheme will happen in Arundel one day however, but admits that now is perhaps not the right time.

“My fellow councillors and I did not become councillors to maintain the status quo, we want to do good things for the town, but in doing so we must take the residents and businesses with us.

He said that the council ‘will learn from this’ and invited members of the community to get in touch, including getting involved with the public questions portion of council meetings.

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