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THE pounds 2 million scheme to improve safety in the Parade, Victoria Terrace and Bath Street in Leamington could send motorists in search of parking spaces into residential streets.

That is just one of the public fears about the project which will see parking bays removed from busy through roads and placed in side streets.

And workers who have enjoyed free parking are likely to be pushed further out of the town under the new restrictions.

The public had their first chance to comment on the array of safety proposals at a meeting held in Leamington town hall last night.

The thrust of the scheme was welcomed, but some details proved controversial. The proposed removal of railings, for example, in the Dormer Place area, sparked calls both backing and opposing it .

Janet Alty, of the Old Town Business Association, called for raised speed tables in Bath Street, Spencer Street and Victoria Terrace - similar to those already installed at the junction of the Parade and Dormer Place - to slow drivers down. She also wanted to see more people attracted over the River Leam into Old Town.

Jane Padley-Mills, a resident of Dale Street, said the work could encourage further lorries to use her street as the Parade will be 'too unfriendly' to through traffic. She added: "These changes are going to push motorists further out into residential streets as they look for free parking."

Archie Pitts, from the Leamington Society, asked what the point of a 20mph limit was, saying: "My own experience is that I rarely get anywhere near 20 mph when I drive down the Parade. I don't know about anyone else."

And Eric Mallinson of the Central Leamington Residents Association said it was not just the state of the roads and junctions. He said: "The pavements along the Parade are atrocious. There are more accidents on the pavements than on the roads."

He also called for more residents' parking areas to ease fears about residential streets being swamped by office workers who won't pay to use car parks.

The Warwick Area Committee agreed last night to start formal consultation on the scheme, backed with government, county council and private developer money.

There will be a full public consultation throughout July and a likely overall decision in October.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 3, 2003
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