ANTI-TERRORISM plans to close part of Stratford’s Waterside have been scrapped.
The proposals aimed to protect pedestrians along the busy street, home to the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre, by preventing potential vehicle attacks like those seen in London, Barcelona and Nice.
The Stratford plans included the stretch of Waterside between Sheep Street and Chapel Street being limited to emergency vehicles, deliveries, and access to properties.
But the closure proposal has been ditched following an outcry from residents and businesses who feared an increase in congestion on the town’s already traffic-choked streets.
Proposals to make Sheep Street one way have also been dropped, although a chicane at the bottom of the parallel Chapel Street will still go ahead.
A spokeswoman for Warwickshire County Council said: “WCC and Stratford District Council, working with Warwickshire Police, is now planning an alternative scheme which involves keeping the road open. The new scheme will aim to provide effective protection for visitors and residents, while maintaining the traffic flow and access.”
News of the rethink was welcomed on social media with users saying the proposed closure would have caused ‘chaos’ and praising the ‘common sense’ of councillors.
Stratforward BID director Joe Baconnet welcomed the review.
He said: “The initial advice came from the police but if it’s a sensible review and if we can achieve our aims effectively without the closures then it’s got to be a good thing.”
Measures already in place on a trial basis include bollards to protect pedestrians from vehicles mounting the pavement along Waterside.
As a result the Sunday market – which used to set up on the paved walkway on Waterside – has moved to Bridge Street.
When plans were revealed last summer, Warwickshire Police stressed there was no specific threat to the town and the measures were a precaution aimed at minimising risk.
The plans are set to be reviewed by county councillors later this month.