A SCHEME to continue the regeneration of Barrow town centre is to be put to the public.
SHUTTERED: Shops at the top end of Dalton Road have recently closed Carphone Warehouse, Kwik Save and Maelstrom, at the top of Dalton Road, have all recently closed shops REF: 0401433
By Richard Morris
Following a meeting of Cumbria County Council’s Local Committee for Barrow on Monday, it was decided to release initial plans on the continued redevelopment of Dalton Road for consultation.
Work to improve Dalton Road, between Abbey Road and Buccleuch Street, was completed last year at a cost of £750,000.
The next stage is to continue the same theme up to the junction with Paxton Street and also down Portland Walk.
Within the next few weeks the public will have a chance to view the plans, speak to designers and council officers and have their say.
During Monday’s meeting, committee members heard how designers plan to use the same materials, including stainless steel lighting columns, bins and benches as were used at the Abbey Road end.
Another idea is to build a tall structure with a canopy at the junction with Portland Walk.
Designers say this could be an artistic piece to act as a focal point.
Improved cycle access to the town centre and secure bicycle parking to encourage shoppers and the use of sustainable transport was also put forward as an option. One of the more controversial ideas involves bringing buses into the heart of the town centre along Buccleuch Street and Cavendish Street.
Stagecoach’s Barrow manager, Willie McPhail, says he will back this part of the scheme to help bring more trade to Barrow’s retailers, as long as pedestrian safety can be 100 per cent guaranteed.
He said: “I was approached by the retailers because there has been a drop in trade year on year.
“I would never consider running a bus if it was not 100 per cent safe for pedestrians.
“The bottom line is that it’s the retailers who approached me and if we do not do something about their businesses there will be no businesses in the town centre for people to come to.
“I am happy to explore all avenues because I expect lots of people to say no in the first instance.”
The council stressed that at this time it is only ideas that are being put forward and nothing is set in stone.
Committee member Jeff Garnett told the meeting he was totally opposed to the reopening of Dalton Road to traffic.
Following the meeting, he said: “I am quite happy with the result of the meeting that we’ll now go forward to consultation. We have raised some issues that we want them to look at.”
Committee chairman, Alan Nicholson, said: “This will go out to consultation now. We’ll have an open day and we want people to come and comment on the plans and give us ideas.
“We are keen for the public to have their say.
“We are relying on people to make sure they do look at the plans and give us their ideas and views.”