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Frome Council plans pedestrian friendly town centre

FROME Town Council has vowed to transform the town centre into a more attractive pedestrian friendly area following concerns about speeding traffic.

In the last issue of Frome Times, concerns from residents were highlighted regarding the speed at which traffic goes through the town centre with fears that there’s “an accident waiting to happen.”

The story has prompted a huge response from the Frome community including Mel Usher, leader of Frome Town Council who said, “I read with interest the front page of your last edition highlighting the campaign being run by Alex Hallatt.

“She rightly complains of traffic dominating the Market Place, speeding and  the need to take your life in your hands when crossing the road – even if you are fit. All reasons why improving the Market Place is one of the town council’s key priorities for 2014. We want to take action now to deal with the problem. We have money set aside for the work and detailed design work is  under way.”

In a letter from cllr Usher to the Frome Times  the building process for a new pedestrian friendly Frome is explained with phase one concentrating on Boyle Cross and the removing of most of the car parking to deal with the conflict between road users caused by reversing vehicles. The plan is to provide  replacement free short-term parking elsewhere in the town centre to compensate.

It is hoped that with new paving, seating and lighting, this area will become much more attractive and a restored Boyle Cross will provide a much needed focal point for the town. There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposals when the planning application is made and more details are published.

Phase two will  follow in 2015. This will make the centre much more pedestrian friendly using wider footways and lower kerbs within the Market Place including  tactile paving for the partially sighted.

This phase will contain;

• Measures to reduce vehicle speeds on the approach into the Market Place including a resurfaced and  realigned carriageway.

• Courtesy crossings using raised tables enabling pedestrians to cross on convenient desire lines.

• The removal of unnecessary and unsightly street ‘clutter’.

• A realignment of the bus stops which currently create congestion.

Cllr Usher added, “We know these improvements will not only make the Market Place more pedestrian friendly but also more attractive as a place to shop, visit, trade and invest.  Historically this work would have been undertaken by the county or district councils; that’s not going to happen, so the town council is prepared to step up to the plate. The town centre is crying out for this love, care and attention if it is to continue to prosper.”