Parking to resume on Ropergate following experimental trial

On-street parking will resume on Ropergate in Pontefract town centre from 10 May, as Wakefield Council responds to the concerns of local businesses.

New planters were temporarily installed along the length of Ropergate at the start of March in a bid to reduce traffic, improve pedestrian safety and introduce some planting and greenery, as well as to try and create a café culture feel in the space. As a result of the scheme the 25 spaces for on-street parking were removed.

After talking to some of the businesses on Ropergate adjustments were proposed to try and accommodate feedback. Businesses were then given the opportunity to see how the adjustments would work over the next six weeks or end the trial. The majority of businesses who responded asked for the experimental scheme to end.

Matthew Morely serious
Cllr Matthew Morley

Councillor Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, said: “We have listened to the businesses who spoke to us and it is clear that they do not feel the experimental scheme is working for them.

“Ropergate is home to some great independent businesses which give the town its unique offer and we want to do all we can to support our local businesses.

“The intention was to make Ropergate greener, safer, and more attractive to visitors, but we would never want this to have a negative impact on businesses, especially at a time when so many are feeling the impact of the rising cost of living and trying to recover from the pandemic.

“Whilst, we would have liked to see the impact of the revised layout, which brought back a third of the street parking, including two new disabled spaces, we accept what businesses are telling us and will do what the majority have asked for.”

Parking will be reinstated on Ropergate from 10 May. The road will be temporarily closed on 8 and 9 May whilst the work is taking place.

Cllr Morley added: “Thank you to all the businesses on Ropergate who have taken the time to talk to us about this.

“I think everyone understands that we do need to explore new ideas and make changes to help our towns and city centres thrive. Inevitably some things will work better than others but we must keep trying.”

The planters will now be relocated elsewhere in Pontefract and Castleford to support the other work being done to create welcoming, natural spaces in the district’s town centres.