Footfall's coming home? Calls to pedestrianise Hartlepool's Church Street to boost business

Calls have been made to look at pedestrianising parts of Hartlepool’s Church Street at certain times to provide a boost to businesses in the area.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 5:47 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th July 2021, 4:54 pm
Councillors have discussed the possibility of pedestrianising parts of Hartlepool's Church Street.
Councillors have discussed the possibility of pedestrianising parts of Hartlepool's Church Street.

It came as councillors discussed work carried out in Church Street over recent years at the latest meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council’s economic growth and regeneration committee.

Cllr Mike Young, deputy council leader and vice chair of the committee, said although Church Street is an important part of Hartlepool’s road network, some pedestrianisation could improve its offer to businesses.

He said: “I think the original plan was to either half pedestrianise it or to put some form of temporary pedestrianisation opportunities in there.

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Councillor Mike Young said "it’s definitely worth looking at some kind of system".

“I appreciate it’s part of an emergency route and part of the road system of the town.

“From my perspective it’s definitely worth looking at some kind of system, whether it’s bollards that are temporarily in place and then removed, but I do think that’s part of the offer there.

“Otherwise you’re just going to have a busy road that doesn’t really function properly.”

He added a lot of the businesses in Church Street thought they were getting one thing with work carried out in the area that “and they didn’t get fundamentally they thought they were getting”.

Cllr Paddy Brown, chair of the committee, endorsed Cllr Young’s point over the expectations of business owners, adding “everybody was a bit confused”.

In regards to the success of Church Street, Cllr Brown also noted how the Covid-19 pandemic has had an “adverse impact” on businesses in the area.

He said: “It’s been unfortunate because as it got the refurbishment finished Covid hit.

“So with the private investors that would have come down to that nice new area to develop businesses, I think we just fell unlucky.

“I think that’s a difficult one to get over, I think that has certainly had an adverse effect on it.”

In March this year, Sarah Scarr, council heritage and countryside manager, told the regeneration services committee they had plans for numerous initiatives around Church Street to draw people to the area.