Liberal Democrat-run Eastleigh Borough Council have closed High Street and Market Street.
Eastleigh Labour Party has completed research into pedestrianised town centres in the UK. There is evidence to support long term changes to town centres to help business recover post-Covid-19 and rejuvenate the High Street. Some residents remain worried that Eastleigh Town Centre has been closed to traffic. This article may help.
We know that people spend more time in Town Centres once they are closed to traffic. This also requires investment for improvements to infrastructure encouraging people to walk and cycle more. Eastleigh Town Centre needs quality infrastructure. Encouraging residents to walk and cycle is good for all of us – it improves air quality and our own health.
One big issue in Eastleigh is traffic – specifically in the town centre. Closing Town Centres to traffic is proven to reduce traffic. This is because access to the Town Centre is fixed to certain times. So, roads like Leigh Road, Southampton Road and Twyford road would carry less traffic at certain times.
Probably the biggest issue that Eastleigh has currently is parking for residents and visitors. The Eastleigh Borough Council uses parking fess to prevent larger Council Tax increases. This means if you own a car in the town centre then you must pay for permits. If you visit Eastleigh via car, you must pay subsidised parking rates. Parking fees are an expensive subsidy for Council taxpayers, and it doesn’t feel fair that Eastleigh residents should fund local parking for visitors to the town centre. Providing specific accessibility parking would lift the financial burden from Council taxpayers in Eastleigh
What do you think?
This research indicates that closing the Town Centre to traffic and encouraging those that can to walk and cycle will benefit Eastleigh residents. We will investigate further – do you think this will make Eastleigh better?