East Riding of Yorkshire Council is set to trial pedestrianising part of Beverley's Saturday Market this month as a result of positive feedback from early consultation undertaken in summer 2020.
The trial, which starts from Monday, 10 May, will see the area between The Grapes pub and the King's Head pedestrianised to create an area where people can socially distance, as well as providing opportunity for outdoor seating areas.
The project also aims to create a 'safer space' by providing an area free of traffic and encourage more active travel by foot or bike to Beverley's town centre.
The council engaged with businesses and local stakeholders on the initial proposal in summer 2020 to consider their thoughts on the proposed 18-month trial.
Claire Hoskins, strategic infrastructure group manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "Following positive feedback from the consultation, the council successfully bid for funding for the proposed scheme from the Department of Transport's (DfT) Active Travel Fund Tranche 2. This has enabled us to complete the detailed design, carry out further stakeholder consultation and complete the Traffic Regulation Order for the trial.
"Of over 30 businesses consulted on the project, 96% of respondents thought it was a good idea to increase space for pedestrians in the town centre, and 93% of respondents supported the scheme in principle."
In addition, local ward members support the scheme and the potential for a more diverse use of the area in future.
Local business groups also expressed support for the scheme, saying they agreed to a long-term aim to make the area more pedestrian-friendly and expressing a desire for a more flexible use of the space, with opportunities for pop-ups, events and other uses to encourage increased footfall.
Along with local ward members and businesses, Beverley Town Council and Beverley Civic Society welcomed the scheme.
The trial will use an experimental Traffic Regulation Order which allows the council, after the first six months of the trial being in place, the chance to consider amending or removing the scheme at any time or make the scheme permanent after 18 months, depending on the level of support received.
Access will remain open for vehicles to Ladygate and to the nearby taxi ranks. The market on Saturdays is unaffected by the trial and will go ahead as usual. Adjacent businesses can apply for outdoor seating areas as part of the trial.
The disabled bays and loading bays affected by the scheme have been relocated close by. Cycle access will be retained through the area to Dog and Duck Lane and Ladygate and additional cycle parking is also being provided in the area to support active travel.
Works to set out the new pedestrian area are due to take place the week commencing 10 May under a localised road closure to ensure the safety of the public and workforce. During the road closure, access will be permitted for emergency services, residents and deliveries.
The new pedestrian area between The Grapes pub and the King's Head will be formed using spaced out planters to prevent vehicle access but allow ample room for pedestrians and cyclists.
Residents and businesses in the Saturday Market area directly affected by the scheme will be sent details of an online questionnaire to give their feedback after the first three months of the trial.
The general public will also have the opportunity to comment throughout the trial through the Traffic Regulation Order process and details can be viewed on notices erected on-street, in the Hull Daily Mail newspaper and on the council's website from Monday, 3 May.