More events, less cars: Senior councillor eyes making Aylesbury more like Covent Garden

Councillor Brian Roberts said the Upper High Street plans are just the beginning
Councillor Brian Roberts said the Upper High Street plans are just the beginning

New plans to pedestrianise sections of Aylesbury and give it more of a ‘Covent Garden style’ are being put forward by a senior councillor.

Aylesbury Vale District Council cabinet member for civil amenities Brian Roberts said it was early days for the new plans which will see the Upper High Street pedestrianised and closed off to central traffic between 8am and 6pm in spring 2013.

He said: “I have been wanting to do it for ages. People have been asking me about this for years.

“Once we have blocked off the Upper High Street there will be no danger at all, then we can open it up more to events and bits and pieces.

“We have got to bring in some safety to the town centre because of motorists.”

Mr Roberts said he had experienced quite a few nervy moments when walking down the street due to reckless driving.

He added that by closing off the area it could be the beginning of pedestrianising more of Aylesbury and bringing extra events to the town centre.

He added: “We like the idea of having a Covent Garden style feel in the town.

“I think it’s going to give us the opportunity to increase the social experience.

“People don’t necessarily go into town just for shopping. They go for a cup of coffee, to meet people for a beer.

“If we can bring the safety aspect it will allow us to increase our events and activities

“It’s an integral part of our retail plan.”

Mr Roberts said he was keen to not raise people’s expectations too early with the plans and that they would be consulted on for several weeks.

“It’s one step at a time, really. Let’s not run before we can walk.

“It’s an experiment to begin with. This is phase one.

“Then you can then move on to possibly pedestrianising the whole of the market itself.”

Falcon Taxis owner Masud Azram said the new plans would not affect business greatly but that he had fears he would lose some of his elderly customers who expect a ‘door to door’ service.