Ramsbottom shop’s fury over u-turned pedestrianised zone

Image Rights: Google Maps

A Ramsbottom shop has expressed its fury as a pedestrianised zone is set to be reopened as a road.

The Vineyard Wine Shop is located at the junction of Smithy Street and Square Street, an area which was transformed into a pedestrianised street during the pandemic.

The temporary legislation is set to come to an end in April, but Labour councillor James Frith has come out in support of the shop’s efforts to preserve the zone, after Bury Council announced the changes.

A spokesperson for the Ramsbottom business said: “It’s been a good asset during a trying time.

“We will of course have lots of unhappy customers who have loved having the facility.”

Former MP Frith acknowledged that this has come about through the transition between temporary Covid licensing and national regulations, but wanted to ensure this did not disrupt trade in the area.

He said: “I will absolutely join the fight on this.

“The permanent plan remains that the road would be closed as part of the ‘Rammy Plan’, but this takes a longer route to approval.”

Image Rights: council public document https://www.bury.gov.uk/asset-library/ramsbottom-town-centre-plan-march-2022.pdf
Proposed plans in Ramsbottom for a redeveloped public square. Credit: Council document

The plan was approved last March and set out a new vision for the town to help with its “ongoing success”.

The proposals include a revamped public square, which would permanently close off the road, but Labour Council leader Eamonn O’Brien called for the licence to be extended until these changes were put in place.

Image Rights: public council document https://www.bury.gov.uk/asset-library/ramsbottom-town-centre-plan-march-2022.pdf
Potential new look for Square Street. Credit: Council document

Councillor O’Brien said: “The first thing is: can we convince the Secretary of State to extend the temporary licence to give the businesses here that bit of flexibility?

“Because we’ve got the long term plan to make this a permanent place for pedestrians, for eaters, drinkers, for the businesses here to make a success of it, as they have done on the temporary basis.”

For further information on the proposed town centre plan, visit the Bury Council website.

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