Hundreds attend meeting to call for end to Louth Active Travel Scheme

More than 250 people rejected changes to Louth’s Mercer Row, market square and Cornmarket parking at a meeting on Wednesday.

Over 200 people attended the meeting.
Over 200 people attended the meeting.

Residents attended a meeting at the town’s Royal British Legion Hall on Northgate, organised by Independent Town and District Councillors to discuss the Louth Active Travel Scheme, proposed by Lincolnshire County Council.

The scheme aims to improve walking and cycling in the town by taking away some parking, moving other bays and doubling down on café culture in the Cornmarket.

The authority has already had to backtrack on some elements of the plans, reinstating two disabled parking bays on Tuesday night.

Coun Andrew Leonard.

Those at the meeting agreed that Mercer Row should revert back to how it was before the changes took place.

John Woolliss, of Woolliss and Son Butchers, on Mercer Row, told the meeting he had already seen a drop in trade.

People can’t be bothered to walk to my shop for a pie when they can pull up, get a pie on the way home from school with the kids, grab it and be on their way.”

He said some residents who had previously spent hundreds of pounds had cancelled their orders, adding some had called “in tears”.

The Federation of Small Businesses is also against the plans.

Katrina Pierce. from the federation, told the meeting: “Those businesses rely on that short-term, easy access… that regular, certain spend.

“They have seen that go down the drain immediately and they’re now four months into that which is completely unsustainable.”

Disabled and low mobility residents were also a big focus.

Rose Stanhope said: “People who live in Louth who can walk do, all my friends walk and I’m ashamed to say now I can’t any longer.”

“I have been absolutely devastated I can no longer park in the Cornmarket.”

There was some support for café culture, with some suggestions a compromise could be met by bringing parking back in over the winter months and after 6pm to allow for safe journeys to night-time venues such as restaurants.

There was some discussion over whether the Cornmarket could be used for parking during the evenings and winter months, but a show of hands settled on a complete reversal of the plans.

Hayden Arrowsmith, a cyclist, said the Cornmarket could be “so much better”.

“[It] could be a fantastic space if done in the right measure, it would be great to have more bike spaces within a nice area.”

However, others argued that due to the British weather it would be unlikely to be used when it was colder – especially, people said, on Mercer Row.

Attendees were given a list of emails and addresses for council representatives and asked to contact them with their concerns.

No-one from Lincolnshire County Council was at the meeting.

The council has been asked for comment.

A further meeting will be held by Louth Town Council about the scheme on Tuesday, September 13 at 6.30pm at the same location.

The authority said it will be inviting representatives from the local authorities.