‘Shared space’ idea for centre of Whalley?

pelican crossing
pelican crossing
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It is good to hear that parish, district and county councils are working together to solve the traffic nightmare in Whalley.

Things are bad now, with pedestrians taking their lives in their hands crossing King Street, cars parked on pavements and double yellow lines on either side of the road, and enormous lorries trundling through the narrow gap.

And this is before the cars of those who live in the new houses at both ends of the village pour on to the same narrow road.

My great fear is that tinkering with a few more yellow lines, restricted waiting and creating lay-bys could be fiddling while Rome burns.

A more radical solution might be to make King Street a “shared space” road like Fishergate, Preston, where traffic moves very slowly and pedestrians cross at many safe points indicated by different road surfaces. There are no zebra crossings, no traffic lights, no maze of direction signs, and it seems to work well. I am sure the experts at County Hall could adapt this idea to Whalley’s needs. A bonus would be that heavy goods vehicles would find King Street is too slow a rat run for them and would use the by-pass road around the village which is where they should be anyway. The whole “feel” of the village would be calmer and even more inviting than it already is.

It is troubling that the county council is saying it is not yet in a position to discuss its plans with the public. Does this mean consultation will happen only when a too–modest scheme is cut and dried? Surely the concerns of residents, traders and visitors should be taken into account as the plans develop, not when it is too late to influence them.

Michael Wedgeworth,

King Street, Whalley