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Paignton’s ‘Golden Mile’ fate decided soon

Monday, 26 February 2024 08:21

By local democracy reporter, Guy Henderson

Protesters march in Torbay Road, Paignton (Image: Guy Henderson)

Car ban will be debated next month

A decision on a controversial traffic layout in Paignton’s ‘Golden Mile’ is expected next month.

Torbay Road, which is home to most of the town’s gift shops and amusement arcades, has been at the centre of a car ban row for 18 months.

Traffic was banished altogether in 2022 after a public consultation came out in favour of pedestrianisation. Supporters said the road was safer without vehicles and the air was cleaner.

But local traders were furious, saying their businesses had been badly hit.  Protest marches were held through the street and the row made national headlines.

Conservative candidates made bringing cars and parking back to Torbay Road a central part of their campaign in the run-up to the 2023 council elections, and pledged to make changes as soon as they were elected to the administration in May.

Some motorists have now been allowed back into Torbay Road, although a new layout has stopped through-traffic and traders say there still isn’t enough parking.

The current layout is still technically a ‘trial’, but now the Conservative administration has promised to make its mind up on Torbay Road.

Cllr Chris Lewis (Con, Preston) told a meeting of the full council: “We hope a decision will be made in March. We are cracking on.

“Let’s get Torbay Road and Station Square done.

“There has been a bit of a delay because we wanted to experiment with all the options. We’ve been speaking to traders and residents, and we hope to be in a position in early March to make a judgement to go forward.

“We are on the case.”

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