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Car-free Bodmin town centre could be ten years away

By CGMikeS  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

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PLANS to pedestrianise Bodmin town centre may not materialise for another decade, Cornwall Council officers have said.

Full details of the Bodmin Town Framework consultation responses, which cover wide-ranging issues on the future growth of the town, were presented to Bodmin Town Council and local Cornwall councillors at a meeting last month.

Bodmin Town Council expressed it’s “disappointment” after learning that the partial or full pedestrianisation of Fore Street is something that will only be considered in the future.

“We are disappointed not to see pedestrianisation of Fore Street considered or at least trialled as part of the framework,” Bodmin Town Council said.

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“Why not try it for a period in the summer and see what effect it has? There was considerable angst in Wadebridge when the town centre was pedestrianised and initially traders were concerned, but eventually they realised that it was beneficial. A trial would allow traders in Bodmin to see if the idea would work.”

Councillor Lance Kennedy was shocked when a timeline of five to nine years was mentioned.

“We were told that the pedestrianisation of Fore Street is something that will only be considered in future years, and a timescale of five to nine years was mentioned,” Mr Kennedy said. “I sincerely hope this isn’t the case.”

Ben Stevens of the Better Bodmin organisation also believes part pedestrianisation of Fore Street needs to be considered.

“We would welcome the trial, which would help improve footfall (the number of people who go into a shop or business in a particular period of time and small business growth in the local area,” Mr Stevens said.

The consultation also asked Bodmin residents how they would prefer to see new primary school places provided to accommodate the influx of 10,000 new residents when 3,000 homes are built over the next 15 years.

Three-quarters of those who responded (76.4 per cent) would rather see a new 14-class primary school built than the expansion of one or more of the town’s existing schools, with some raising concerns about St Petroc’s School getting too big.

Bodmin Town Council said it would like to see work start ground break on the building of a new school “within five years”.

“Bodmin Town Council welcomes the move in terms of building a new school. rather than expanding existing schools.

“It is important that Cornwall Council recognises that there is a strong need to progress this in the medium and not medium to long term and Bodmin Town Council would like to see a firm commitment to ground being broken for a new school within five years.”

Cornwall Council was unavailable for comment as the Cornish Guardian went to press.

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