When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Traders: state of subway is putting the public off
FRUSTRATED Christchurch traders are calling for swift action on plans to improve an integral part of the town centre.
Despite Dorset County Council pledging to look at much-needed improvements to the pedestrian subway linking Bargates and Christchurch High Street, the Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce fear further delays will result in nothing ever being done.
The project, which includes placing advertising boards on the walls, as well as mirrors to improve people’s sense of safety, murals by local schools and better lighting, has been blighted by delays since its inception.
Peter Watson-Lee, Chamber president said: “The whole thing is a bureaucratic fiasco. The underpass is in desperate need of improvement. Traders were reporting that members of the public say that they are refusing to go through the underpass because of its state, which in turn results in undesirables using it for begging and putting the public off.”
He added: “The Chamber have spent a long time in liaising with Christchurch council and drawing up plans as to what could be done.
“The great disappointment is that it is likely to mean that the improvements to the underpass, that were so close to being achieved, will again be put off and one wonders whether they will ever happen.”
A spokesperson for Dorset County Council said they were likely to consider the issue later “sometime this year”.
They added: “The county council generally supports the proposal to enhance the environment of the subway.
“Our main involvement is to ensure that the integrity of the subway and its lighting is unaffected by any refurbishment work.
“But as part of the improvements, we are also in talks with the Chamber of Trade about the use of advertising boards in the subway.”
A Policy Development Panel has been set-up to look at advertising and sponsorship.