By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Beeston residents have welcomed a U-turn on plans to ban cars from part of a street after only a quarter of people backed the idea in a survey.
Nottinghamshire County Council had proposed banning cars from using Dovecote Lane as a through route at its junction with Middle Street, in a bid to encourage cycling and walking.
The authority planned to use Government transport improvement money to fund the scheme.
At first, the council planned to make the changes straight away as an ‘Experimental Traffic Regulation Order’ before people were asked for feedback.
But after opposition from some residents, in January the council agreed to delay the scheme’s implementation to undertake a second public consultation.
A petition against the plans gained almost 1,000 signatures at the time – although some residents did support the plans.
Now, the council has announced that it has “listened to the concerns of residents in Beeston surrounding a proposed cycling scheme” after only 22 per cent of the 408 respondents supported the proposals in the latest consultation.
“Feedback from local residents shows that there is not enough support for the scheme to take it forwards, and so the county council will now work with the DfT to explore other potential schemes in Nottinghamshire using the allocated funding”, the authority announced on November 29.
Janet Aitken, who lives at supported living accommodation on Dovecote Lane, said it was “brilliant” to hear the council has scrapped the plans.
She said: “I’m glad they’ve scrapped it.
“I didn’t want it blocking off because it would make it so much longer to drive around.
“If you live halfway down the street you’d have to go all the way round.
“But I do think this road could do with speed humps. People use it as a rat run, they drive too fast.”
Hannah Mcnab, a cyclist who lives in the area, added: “I don’t think it would’ve been an advantage to cyclists and I cycle along here.
“The centre of Beeston gets congested so it’s helpful to drive down Dovecote Lane. I also cut down here rather than go through Beeston on a bike.
“It’s very narrow but I think people drive appropriately.
“I got the impression it was a token measure and they just chose this road.”
Resident Rita Smedley said: “It’s good news. Dovecote Lane takes a lot of traffic off the main roads so it’s far better to keep it open.
“I can’t imagine why they decided that this road should be closed at one end. It’s ridiculous.
“People do go through fast but it does help Queen’s Road to keep this open.
“I think they’d got money to spend and they decided to do it here. The money could be better spent not shutting Dovecote Lane.”
Councillor Neil Clarke, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We have listened to local residents and their concerns and feel that there is not the broad support for this scheme that we require as part of the Active Travel Fund funding conditions to implement it.
“Dovecote Lane was initially identified for a scheme funded by our Active Travel Fund allocation as it is a key cycle route and links the town centre with the train station.
“Schemes such as this need to be supported by local people and where this is not the case it is not feasible to implement them.
“The views of local people are incredibly important to us, and we will continue to seek these out when proposing schemes of this kind.
“Our consultations with local people showed that only 22 per cent of the 408 respondents supported the proposals, that only half of the respondents living on Dovecote Lane supported the scheme and that only 30 per cent of the 285 respondents who said they walk, cycle and use a motor vehicle to travel along Dovecote Lane were in support of this.
“We have been working closely with the DfT (Department for Transport) throughout the process and are now exploring alternative schemes in Nottinghamshire to reallocate this funding.”