Rugby councillors call for more enforcement against drivers in pedestrianised area of town centre

One councillor said the number of cars in the pedestrianised area has gone down since the closure of McDonald's - but it remains an issue

Rugby's town centre - file image.

Safety issues have prompted calls for a review of traffic regulations in parts of Rugby town centre and their enforcement.

Councillors at this week’s (November 17) full council meeting of Rugby Borough Council approved a motion to tackle the problem in the pedestrianised area around Sheep Street and High Street at certain times of day.

The motion, which was proposed by Cllr Neil Sandison (Lib Dem, Eastlands) and amended by Cllr Wayne Radin (Con, Newbold and Brownsover) said: “This council recognises the impact of high volumes of traffic entering and egressing the part-pedestrianised area of High Street, Sheep Street and Market Street to the detriment of pedestrians and non-drivers.

“It notes that pedestrians appear to have priority for only five hours out of 24 hours and that residents and visitors feel unsafe in this shared space.

“This council calls upon Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council to review the current traffic regulation orders operational procedures in order to enhance pedestrian safety while consulting with businesses present in the pedestrianised retail area of High Street, Sheep Street and Market Place to also ensure their trade is not negatively affected.”

The motion was given full backing by councillors as long as there was no detrimental impact on traders.

Cllr Sandison told the meeting: “We are looking at ways we could claim back the pedestrianised streets of Rugby which have been taken over by Uber drivers and others so that it is becoming unsafe to use parts of the town centre.

“Retailers have come to us because abandoned cars have been blocking the entrance into their businesses.”

Cllr Tom Mahoney (Lab, Benn), who lives in the town centre, said he had seen a reduction in the number of cars in the area following the closure of the Market Street McDonalds.

But he added: “What we have to be careful of is that a lot of the retailers rely on morning and evening deliveries. The problem is the lack of enforcement rather than legislation. What we are missing are the evening enforcement officers - the ones that are operating at the moment are probably back in the office at 5pm.”