Street market manager hits out at Melton Council for pedestrian area vehicle barriers delay

Street market manager Barry Lonsdale and two metal barriers coupled together at the entrance to Cheapside last Wednesday EMN-160404-105258001

Street market manager Barry Lonsdale and two metal barriers coupled together at the entrance to Cheapside last Wednesday EMN-160404-105258001

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A frustrated street market manager and trader has hit out at Melton Council for its delay in installing barriers stopping vehicles accessing the town centre pedestrianised areas.

Since September Barry Lonsdale, who manages the Wednesday market, has been putting up metal barriers on Wednesdays, supplied by the Town Estate and erected with permission from the council, to stop vehicles cutting through the pedestrian zone.

But Barry (64) claims when he’s rung the council to ask why it hasn’t already installed the permanent barriers, as agreed by the authority in June last year, he’s been repeatedly fobbed off.

The council agreed last June to install swing gate barriers at the gateway town centre entrances - where the traffic bollards used to be - in Nottingham Street, High Street and King Street. These new barriers, to be implemented at a combined cost of £5,500 would, under the current traffic regulation order, restrict vehicular access between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

But nearly 10 months on the permanent barriers are yet to materialise.

Mr Lonsdale has been putting the temporary barriers together at the entrance to Cheapside and at the bottom of King Street, down by WHSmith, to prevent traffic cutting through on a Wednesday.

Mr Lonsdale said: “In my opinion unless someone gets killed no-one is going to do anything. We still get vehicles cutting through the pedestrian area on a Wednesday and they’re not coming through slowly. They’re going at 30 or 40 miles per hour sometimes, it’s ridiculous.

“I made an official complaint to the council last June about the traffic coming through and since then I’ve been fobbed off every time.

“They’ve approved the barriers and if they’ve allocated money for them and all they’ve got to do is appoint the contractors to do the work I don’t know what the hold up is. It just seems they can’t be bothered.”

Melton town centre manager Shelagh Core said: “It’s not a case that we’re not bothered. We’re fully committed to the project and trying to install the swing gates as soon as possible but there’s a lot more involved than just installing them. It’s also a case of who will manage them and we also need to liaise with key partners.

“Traffic flow and parking within the pedestrian area and Market Place is currently being monitored by Leicestershire County Council Highways.

“Temporary barriers are available at access points and quotations are being obtained with regards new swing gate barriers to the pedestrian entrances of Nottingham Street, King Street and High Street. These will replace the former access control bollards, previously managed by County Highways and the civic Enforcement officers. Discussions will be held with key partners and businesses before final installation.”