Beverley divided over plans to ban cars from Market Place to encourage pedestrians and pavement seating

An ongoing East Riding Council trial to make Beverley's Saturday market car-free could soon lead to permanent traffic changes.

Beverley Market Place

East Riding Council’s trial pedestrianisation of Beverley Market is set to run for 18 months following its launch on Monday May 10.

A council spokesperson said the scheme was designed to help people socially distance and boost footfall in the town as coronavirus lockdown restrictions are set to ease further.

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The spokesperson added a loading bay for nearby shops and traders had been moved from by Caffe Nero outside the pedestrianised area and the Saturday market itself would be unaffected.

It comes as the scheme has led to debate among locals online, with some welcoming the move while others were concerned about the impact on deliveries for businesses.

Others said they were concerned about the impact on disabled parking, with bays also moved close by but with no loss of spaces for them overall.

The council said was backed by more than 90 per cent of residents and the majority of the 30 nearby businesses initially consulted, as well as by Beverley Town Council.

It is set to be reviewed after six months when it could be changed or scrapped before the experimental Traffic Regulation Order it operates under expires a year later.

The area extends from The Grapes to the Kings Head pubs, with venues able to apply for pavement licences for outdoor seating.

It has been cordoned off from traffic by planters and the area could be used for pop-up stalls and events depending on the outcome of the trial.

Access is set to remain for vehicles going into Ladygate and to taxi ranks nearby.

The council said the number of parking spaces once at the market had now decreased but was made up by new ones elsewhere.

Cycle access remains into Ladygate and Dog and Duck Lane and more spaces for bikes have been allotted, in part to encourage active travel into Beverley.

The scheme has been backed by Department for Transport Active Travel Funding which makes money available to councils to experiment with ways to boost walking and cycling.

Residents and road users took to social media to have their say.

Sarah Sparrow said: “How will you get more people coming if they’ve nowhere to park?”

Rodney Forster said: “Beverley has more car parks than anywhere I know, there is three hours free parking in Tesco about three minutes’ walk away.”

Twitter user Chris1966 posted: “It completely isolates blue card holders from their banking.”

Jonathan Leafe said: “Great initiative, maybe they could pedestrianise the lot, the vistas will be awesome.”

Businesses in the area are set to be surveyed after the first three months of the scheme, with a public consultation also open for comment on the council’s website.