Proposals for a new bus lane near Preston Bus Station have been paused.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council wants to make a section of Tithebarn Street, along the front of the St John’s Shopping Centre, with no access to cars.
But the plan drew a strong reaction from politicians, business owners and the public.
Responding to the news the Fishergate bus lane was being withdrawn, leader of Preston City Council councillor Peter Rankin said the ‘piecemeal approach’ being taken to the city centre’s traffic needed reviewing.
Preston city centre county councillor Yousuf Motala told the Lancashire Evening Post he had not been consulted about the plan and knew nothing about it.
While property developer Max Williams, who owns a number of properties in the city centre, said bus lanes ‘do not work’ and said the changes the county council were making risked killing the city centre.
Read more: This Preston city centre road has turned into a rat-run
He said in an email to cabinet member for highways county councillor John Fillis: “When it comes to city centre Vs out of town shopping people are like water, they’ll find the easiest route to their destination and if you make it inconvenient even in the slightest for people to visit the town centre then they won’t.
“In my opinion having a bit of congestion in a busy and growing city centre is far better than having no congestion in a deserted ghost town centre.”
County councillor Fillis has now said the bus lane plan is to be halted, saying the consultation has not been good enough.
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council confirmed the bus lane decision had not been formally ‘called-in’ by any councillor, so it will not be reviewed by the council’s scrutiny committee.
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