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Superseded by National Lockdown Guidance
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UPDATE 3 – Following the Council meeting on 14 Dec 2020, Market Trader tolls have been waived further until the end of February 2021.
UPDATE 2 – Following the Policy, Management and Finance Committee meeting on 09 Nov 2020, Market Trader tolls have been waived further until the end of December.
UPDATE – Following the Policy, Management and Finance Committee meeting on 28 Sep 2020, Market Trader tolls have been waived further until the end of November.
ORIGINAL – The Town Council has extended the waiver on Market Trader tolls,which has been in place since April, until the end of September 2020 to support the traders during the COVID-19 crisis. The requirement for a further extension to the waiver will be reviewed at the next Policy, Management, and Finance Committee meeting.
Firstly, a huge thank you to all who engaged with the survey. It will help the council so much when making decisions about this. Thank you also to the Chamber of Commerce for their survey of transport users of the Town Centre, and Sustainable Wantage for their Sustainable Wantage Community Survey that closes on 3rd December and includes questions relating to options for changes in the town centre.
We know that many will be wondering about the results of the survey.
We are in the process of preparing a detailed report but in the meantime want you to know that there was a gratifyingly large response, so large in fact that it has generated 40 pages of comments and some great suggestions. It is also clear what the majority would prefer (see below) but we will nevertheless keep the minority opinions in mind when making our decisions.
It is important to remember that the West End closure and the other proposed closures are a response from the Town Council to the government requirement to open town centres and other public spaces safely whilst we are learning to live with the Covid 19 pandemic. Permanent pedestrianisation is a separate issue, although clearly the situation we are in now gives the opportunity to see how this would work and what impacts it has.
In line with GDPR (data protection) we have to strip out names and personal details on the comments but will publish them as soon as we can. In the meantime, here is a summary of the results:
For all the 823 respondents
Survey results – All data presented excludes the “don’t knows” and “didn’t answer”.
On the Western end: On balance do think these changes achieve their objective?
Yes 62% vs No 38%
On balance are you in favour of the temporary scheme for further pedestrianisation and move of the taxi rank and Buses for the area to the SOUTH of the market.
Yes 58% vs No 42%
Are you generally in favour of the temporary pedestrianisation of the north end of Newbury street?
Yes 57% vs No 43%
Thinking about all of the proposals and current implemented scheme which items are closer to your personal view (please select all that apply)?
|The area to the West of the Market should remain pedestrianised on a temporary basis for the duration of the COVID pandemic.||63%||vs||37%||Pedestrianisation of the Town centre in any form does not make safer spaces for social distancing during the COVID pandemic.|
|The area to the SOUTH of the Market should be pedestrianised, including proposed changes to the Taxi rank and bus stops, on a temporary basis for the duration of the COVID pandemic.||60%||vs||40%||Pedestrianisation of the Town centre in any form does not make safer spaces for social distancing during the COVID pandemic.|
|The North end of Newbury street should be pedestrianised on a temporary basis for the duration of the COVID pandemic.||57%||vs||43%||Pedestrianisation of the Town centre in any form does not make safer spaces for social distancing during the COVID pandemic.|
Should the Council consult by means of a survey like this one to monitor any implemented schemes?
Yes – in approximately 3 months’ time. 61%
In order to facilitate better social distanced areas within the Market Place and to encourage a safer environment for visiting businesses in the town, Wantage Town Council, following the Government’s Guidance for COVID-19: Safer Public Spaces – Urban Centres and Green Spaces, introduced the pedestrianisation of the Western End of the Market Place on Saturday 4th July as an emergency measure. This is now a temporary implementation for 18 months during COVID-19.
A consultation survey, which can be accessed here, is being undertaken about the closure of the Western End and also asking opinion about further temporary pedestrianisation. Your input on the survey will assist the Town Council on whether we seek to implement the full plan or just stay with the Western End for now. The survey will run until midnight 31 October 2020.
Wantage Town Council has created a plan to improve on social distanced areas within the Market Place as a whole, make the area safer for the public to visit and to engage with local businesses. The plan, which is much more complex than just closing the Western End, involves bus services, highways, disabled parking, parking and taxi availability. The plan was submitted to Oxfordshire County Council asking for comment and guidance. Having received comment from OCC we have made the plan public.
The Council and its staff would like residents to be assured that we are working hard behind the scenes to find ways, in line with Government policy, of creating a town centre environment that feels safe to all potential users.
The closure of the western end of the Market Place has been welcomed and enjoyed by many and we are liaising with those who have raised concerns.
Following discussion with various interested parties, detailed plans for a larger closure have been drawn up and submitted. Further discussions are ongoing and the Council will let you know as soon as they can what the next steps will be. Please keep checking the Council website for updates.
We take this opportunity to give a huge thank you to all our residents who are doing their best to keep each other safe in these challenging times
The September Fair due to attend the Market Place on Saturday 12 September is cancelled.
New Bicycle Stands have been installed around the Market Place and at the Bus Stop at the Charlton Road Roundabout to encourage cycling within the town.