TRADERS in Helston have united to block any attempt to ban cars from one of the main town centre streets.
It had been suggested at a public meeting last October that Meneage Street could be closed to traffic.
The idea is that it would encourage people to shop again in the town centre.
No definite plans have been made but the idea has prompted Brian Shore, owner of Horse and Jockey bakery, to start a petition against any possible closure.
In less than a week, he has already collected hundreds of names from people who do not want the street to be closed and said he had the support of many businesses on the street.
He said: “Everybody I know doesn’t want it closed. they discussed this two years ago and here we are again.
“The only people who want it closed are on Coinagehall Street.”
He said the street was always full during the day, meaning there is a high turnover of shoppers. Parking for the 35 car spaces is restricted to 30 minutes and is rigorously enforced by Cornwall council wardens.
Mr Shore said his bakery has already seen trade fall by 75 per cent since Tesco opened. He added that closing Meneage Street would finish him.
Debbie James, of Fruit and Veg 4U, said a complete ban on traffic was not acceptable.
“We wouldn’t want to see it closed, certainly not every day,” she said.
“We have a lot of customers sop here to shop or, if they’ve bought a load of grocers, we tell them to bring their cars down here outside to load.
She did admit that it might work to ban cars only on a Saturday, when they could put their wares outside the shop.
Michael Stephenson, of Thurleys fish and chip shop, said any closure in the evening would finish his business.
Other businesses that have carried the petition include card shop Card Sharp, Superdrug, Warrens bakery and Jade Garden restaurant.
Helston Town Council is currently undertaking a consultation to see how to spend £250,000 on the town centre.
The cash is a on-off payment from Tesco and Sainsbury’s, so they could get planning permission to build their supermarkets on the edge of town.
The money must be spent on some physical improvement to the town centre.
The pedestrianisation of Meneage Street was just one suggestion of many put forward, which include more signs for visitors, a market area, more seats, public art and more parking.
Martin Searle, the council’s regeneration officer, is hoping to use the money to get grant funding.
He organised the public meeting in October and has also spoken to many businesses and sent out a consultation letter to every home in Helston. Another public meeting will be held shortly to review the findings from the consultation letters. No plans have been made on how to spend the money.