Paper petition details

The Ongoing Roadworks Taking Place in Clitheroe Town Centre

address the business owners of Clitheroe growing concerns regarding the ongoing roadworks taking place in Clitheroe town centre, and the detrimental impact it is having within the community.

I am writing to you on behalf of all the local businesses in Clitheroe to address our growing concerns regarding the ongoing roadworks taking place in the town centre, and the detrimental impact it is having within our community.

Firstly, the uneven pavements from the construction site in the town centre pose serious health and safety risks. Recently, a customer of Modern Mobility Clitheroe fell due to the uneven surface, highlighting the lack of regard for health and safety procedures. Due to this, we are urging the council to prioritise the inspection and maintenance of the pavements and surrounding areas to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the area.

Furthermore the lack of footfall in the town centre has significantly decreased revenues for the local businesses, many of which rely on the spike in demand for these shops throughout the summer. After conferring with many other shop owners in the affected area, we are requesting compensation to account for this lack of footfall. We also propose that more visible signs should be placed leading into the town centre to inform people that businesses are still open and accessible, despite the ongoing construction project.

Moreover, Key Street car park has become cluttered with portable cabins and other
construction equipment, further exacerbating Clitheroe's parking shortage, which will be made significantly worse throughout June and July's increased demand for parking. To account for this, we suggest offering free parking in alternative areas to help alleviate the strain on local businesses and encourage more people to visit the town centre.

We are deeply concerned that if the current situation persists, many local businesses will face the possibility of closure, potentially desolating Clitheroe if this footfall does not improve. The dedicated efforts and investments made by owners of these local businesses are at risk of being in vain if the situation is not addressed correctly.

It is disheartening to see tourists bypassing Clitheroe for other more accessible, welcoming and aesthetically pleasing town centres, such as Settle and Skipton.

These destinations are seeing increased footfall and visitor engagement, while Clitheroe continues to struggle with the negative impacts of the ongoing road works. We urge the council to take immediate action to restore the vibrancy and appeal of our town to both residents and visitors alike.

We are enclosing a petition signed by many local businesses that have been adversely affected by the current roadworks, representing a unified plea for swift resolution and support to mitigate the damages caused by this disruptive scheme.

We understand that the roadworks are intended to improve infrastructure and enhance the towns' appeal, particularly in preparation for upcoming events, such as the Food Festival, however the long-term repercussions on local businesses cannot be overlooked, and urgent measures must be taken to address the immediate challenges we are facing.

Any attention to this matter is highly appreciated, and we are hopeful that measures can be taken to dampen the pernicious impacts of this ongoing situation.

Kind regards,

The business owners of Clitheroe

This Paper petition runs from 13/06/2024 to 25/07/2024.

41 people have signed this Paper petition.

This is a paper petition received by the county council. It has never been available for a signature online.

Council response

Thank you for your signed letter from local businesses dated 4 June 2024 highlighting several concerns whilst the Castle Street public realm scheme which is being jointly delivered by Lancashire County Council (LCC) and Ribble Valley Borough Council (RVBC).

LCC and RVBC are saddened that a number of businesses have considered it necessary to draft and support this letter. With this, I apologise that some are finding the impacts of scheme delivery greater than that anticipated. The contents of your letter are appreciated as I consider it important that all concerns are raised, otherwise officers will not know what is working well and what could be reviewed. In line with supporting good working practices, the contents of the petition were shared with those working on the project to highlight the concerns that have been raised.

Disruption

It is inevitable in delivering this type of collaborative scheme that disruption would occur. Highway officers have always tried to limit disruption when delivering this project, as we do elsewhere with schemes of this nature. Where possible, LCC operatives have always assisted to support deliveries, collections, and the needs of visitors/shoppers within Castle Street and will continue until the main works are complete. Whilst the letter is explicit on disruption to Castle Street, which is noted and unavoidable, I must highlight that the workforce has also received verbal positive support regarding the approach to scheme delivery adapting to business needs and the helpfulness of the workforce in providing assistance where required to businesses and/or shoppers and visitors.

Temporary Surface During Construction

With regard to the presence of an uneven surface where pedestrians are walking, such as within an area which is in transition between old and new, it is unfortunate that temporary footways are not as smooth as a permanent surface. However, the materials currently applied used a combination of cement bound granular material and tarmac, with ramps provided at carriageway crossing points, shop doorways, and around footway ironwork. This approach is typical across the country in delivering this type of project, where pedestrian access is to be supported during construction. Highway officers and operatives take safety of all very seriously and any incident reported supported by detail will be investigated.

As part of site management, the site including temporary footways and transition areas which are checked by site operatives for useability and ensuring they are hazard free.

For this scheme we have had the benefit of a site visit from a local visual impairment group with a purpose to provide verbal comments on the approach to construction, their view was that they were happy with the temporary provision in place. This provided the site manger the additional confidence that the approach adopted was suitable.
Footfall

Footfall in town centres is always variable as we know, in this case, much effort has been made to best minimise change as highlighted above in the section titled 'Disruption', the site workforce has ensured that:

• access can be made to shops,
• window displays can be viewed where possible,
• deliveries can be made and collected, and
• aid is available to cross Castle Street where needed.

Having regard to your suggestion that was made within the letter, a sign has been made and positioned at the Queensway junction to divert through traffic on A671. The wording on the sign is:

'Major roadworks in Clitheroe town centre. All businesses open as usual. Please use alternative route'

Further, it is important to highlight a main objective of this LCC/RVBC public realm scheme is to: better support pedestrian needs, better manage parking and deliveries, reduce the impact of motorised vehicles in order to maximise town centre vitality and to support events where the road is closed. The completion of this scheme can only have positive effects on the local businesses when compared to the previous layout, providing the foundation to support increases in footfall.

In response to the suggestion of compensation, this is something that LCC has been clear on since the start, in line with all other similar schemes elsewhere, no compensation is available.

Location of Compounds

As with any scheme requires use of land conveniently located to the works for use for storage of plant and materials, welfare provision etc minimising wider disruption. With town centre schemes, the options available for site compound locations are always limited. LCC has worked closely with RVBC to best limit the impacts, as we are fully aware that car parking in any location is important.

Scheme Update

On a positive note, since this letter was received you will have noticed a great amount of progress being made and at present the main works will be complete by mid-July with street furniture and other less disruptive changes being delivered post this date.

In addition, at the request of others some additional bins, seats, and importantly cycle stands will be delivered again to support the needs of visitors.

Highway Defects Issues

Notwithstanding this scheme, working closely with the community should businesses, residents, or visitors wish to report any specific highway defect/issue, the 'Love Clean Streets' app is the quickest and most appropriate way means of reporting them. It is simple to use, allowing anyone to log an issue in seconds and the ability to track its progress. Photos can be added as well as the 'location' service on their mobile device to pinpoint an issue enabling highway officers to locate it and deploy a team to make good. The app can be found on the Apple Store or the Google Play Store.

I hope the above response goes some way to answer your points and confirms that at all stages during this project that LCC/RVBC are listening and where possible accommodating the needs of businesses, shoppers, and visitors.

Kind Regards,
Petitions
Democratic Services
Lancashire County Council
Website: https://council.lancashire.gov.uk/mgEPetitionListDisplay.aspx?bcr=1