More calls to make Leamington's main shopping street permanently pedestrianised after Covid measures are lifted

To help with social distancing during lockdown, The Parade and parts of Warwick Street and Regent Street were pedestrianised for more than a year by Warwickshire County Council - but the road was reopened for all traffic on Monday

More calls have been made for the Parade in Leamington to be pedestrianised permanently after the road was reopened for all traffic for the first time in more than 12 months this week.

While the Parade and parts of Regent Street and Warwick Street were closed to traffic by Warwickshire County Council to help with social distancing, Leamington resident Dr Hafeez Ahmed, who lives in Binswood Avenue, launched a petition for the pedestrianisation to become permanent.

However, some business owners and people living in the streets surrounding the Parade voiced their objection to this due fears of the diversion of traffic affecting their lives and livelihoods.

The Parade in Leamington during (top) and after (bottom) it was pedestrianised due to Covid-19 measures.

Now, a new petition in support of permanent pedestrianisation has been launched.

Organiser Lauren Byrne has said: "We are passionate about the prosperity of Leamington and are delighted with the current pedestrianisation of the Parade.

"If this is permanently extended, it would not only benefit the safety of residents and visitors in the town but also allow local independent businesses to thrive and contribute to economic growth and, In turn, increase tourism."

To view the petition click here.

On the removal of the pedestrianisation and Covid-19 measures in the town centre and the county council's stance on the pedestrianisaton being made permanent, a council spokeswoman said: "We understand that there is a range of views on these arrangements, but also growing support for the continued pedestrianisation of The Parade.

"It should be noted that the current scheme was only temporary and was implemented solely for the purpose of generating additional space for pedestrians to adhere to the social distancing rules, as a result of Covid-19.

"In response to the Government Covid-19 Roadmap, and the latest relaxation of restrictions a decision was made to re-open The Parade in Leamington on July 19 [2021], following the announcement from the Government on July 5.

"This decision was made in collaboration with local members, Warwick District Council, Leamington BID, and other stakeholders.

"Warwickshire County Council, in discussion with Warwick District Council and Leamington Town Council, is considering the long-term proposals for The Parade, building on the lessons learnt from this temporary solution.

"While there have been many benefits to the closure of The Parade to traffic, it has led to knock-on consequences elsewhere including traffic flows and the routing of buses.

"These all need further careful consideration and more detailed planning and design to ensure that any future scheme found, creates effective solutions to these issues.

"This would also include consideration of any appropriate traffic calming or changes to road designs.

"There are many factors to consider with such a significantly sized scheme in such a prominent location, and therefore this will take some time to consider, and any future plans would involve extensive public consultation before any decisions were made."