Plans to make Hockley more welcoming for people to visit on foot will come into effect in time for May Bank Holiday weekend, tying in with the popular Dot to Dot Festival.
Broad Street, Heathcoat Street and Carlton Street will be closed to vehicles on weekends and bank holidays from noon – 6am from Saturday 25 May. The road will also be closed at lunch during the week (Monday-Friday 12-2pm).
Bollards were installed in 2017 removing vehicles 6pm-6am, making the area safer and more pedestrian friendly. This has proved popular with the wider public, with an incredible 89% of respondents to a council survey believing that these restrictions have improved the area. With this in mind, proposals have been developed to increase the hours that the road is closed to vehicles.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council said: “We plan to make the area a pedestrian zone at weekends and over lunchtime during the week when footfall is at its highest so people can enjoy visiting the shops, bars and restaurants without vehicles parked or driving down the street.
“What was really clear from the survey is that the people of Nottingham love Hockley, and are proud of the independent quirky vibe. We hope that by extending the pedestrian hours people visiting Hockley will be able to link better into the rest of the city centre via the already pedestrianised Pelham Street. The first ‘pedestrian friendly weekend’ has been planned for May bank holiday – when Dot To Dot festival is in full swing so people can enjoy all the area has to offer.”
“We have been working with residents and businesses for some time to find the right balance between the practical needs of independent businesses and the greater footfall that will come when the area is more pedestrian friendly. We believe that we now have a solution that will work.
“The new traffic restrictions will be trialled over the summer in two phases under an experimental order, beginning with closures at the weekends and lunchtime during the week. If the closures are successful, we will move onto a second phase and seek to further extend the hours that the area is closed to vehicles so that it will be a pedestrian zone the majority of the time except for a daily delivery window 6am – 11am.”
“We have now allocated funding to help support the transformation of the area, this will be used to address some of the concerns raised during the consultation process such as loading bays, cycle parking and traffic flows around East Street”
As part of the consultation process, the council ran a further survey in February this year and the public were supportive of the proposals, 88% agreeing that further traffic restrictions would make the area better. There were concerns raised in this survey such as loading for businesses, disabled parking and the need for more bike racks – and the council has sought to address them with workable solutions. A full break down of the proposals can be found here.