Businesses in Elland concerned about pedestrianisation plans on main route sign petition and present to council

Businesses in a Calderdale town are worried plans to pedestrianise one of its main routes will harm trade.
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A petition signed by 250 people, organised by businesses and nearby residents, opposing the proposed pedestrianisation of Southgate at Elland was presented to a meeting of the full Calderdale Council.

A further 85 people have signed an online version, said Coun Angie Gallagher (Lab, Elland), who presented their case.

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The petition says they believe the plans will have a detrimental effect on the businesses there, harming footfall, a lack of parking putting off potential customers and removing vehicle access reducing the road’s “shop window” to passers-by.

Elland planned improvements to SouthgateElland planned improvements to Southgate
Elland planned improvements to Southgate
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The council has £6 million of Future High Streets funding to spend in Elland and says its plans, which include, are based on feedback from businesses and residents over a number of years.

Pedestrianising the road with stone flags and cobbles and “soft” landscaping such as some tree planting while retaining 17 parking bays at Coronation Street car park and introducing two extra parking spaces on an adjacent road will improve Southgate, says the council.

But those signing the petition remain unconvinced, citing as evidence footfall down to a third while recent temporary road closures there have taken place.

Southgate in Elland how it currently looksSouthgate in Elland how it currently looks
Southgate in Elland how it currently looks
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The petition argues: “The recent temporary road closures demonstrate to many Southgate shop owners that people are not prepared to park a distance away and walk to those shops.”

Vehicle traffic along Southgate enables passing drivers to register the businesses in situ in a town which was hit by departure of the banks and facing competition from online retailers, they say.

A lack of parking particularly at the north end of Southgate is also an issue.

They argue keeping the route open will bring benefits to Elland.

Coun Angie Gallagher held her Elland ward seat for LabourCoun Angie Gallagher held her Elland ward seat for Labour
Coun Angie Gallagher held her Elland ward seat for Labour
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“Easy access to parking not only attracts more customers but also encourages them to spend more time, exploring and shopping.

“By prioritising convenient on-street parking, high street stores can better compete with the efficiency of online shopping and create a more inviting and competitive retail environment.

“This ultimately supports the vibrancy and sustainability of the local businesses and community,” says the petition.