Wrexham bus plan to bring back shoppers to pedestrianised areas
- 26 November 2011
- From the section North East Wales
A trial bus service is being planned to ferry shoppers around Wrexham town centre, including pedestrianised areas.
The plan has been approved amid traders' calls to bring customers back to the High Street.
They said custom had dropped off after normal bus services stopped using the road a few years ago.
Wrexham council is now planning to fund a half-hourly bus service to key destinations like the High Street.
It would be restricted to a maximum of 5mph in the pedestrianised area, according to a report to the authority's environment and regeneration scrutiny committee.
The bus pilot comes after councillors offered free parking in the town centre from last month to try to boost trade.
In the latest report, council officials say they have developed an "innovative integrated transport solution" that "provides increased accessibility" between the main shopping areas, including Eagles Meadow shopping centre and Queens Square, as well as the High Street and bus and railway stations.
"They do need to bring the buses back," said market trader Rob Clarke, chair of Wrexham's branch of the National Market Traders' Federation.
Based in Wrexham's Butchers Market which has an entrance off the High Street, he says traders noticed a fall in customers when bus services stopped dropping off passengers on the road.
"It is a neglected part of town," he said. "It used to be a lot busier."
The council report says it has listened to traders' concerns and is looking at reintroducing bus stops back on the High Street, although this will require further work to improve access.
But Alex Jones, chair of Wrexham Chamber of Tourism & Trade, said he did not believe bringing buses back on the High Street was the best answer to boosting business.
Mr Jones, who owns Bank bar on the High Street, suggested widening or alternating the places used for on-street markets and adding more market days.
"Why not incorporate them around the town?" he said. "Wrexham is a market town - it needs markets."
The plans will go before the authority's executive board and could be ratified next month.