A PROMINENT businessman has said plans that could see Burton’s High Street completely pedestrianised could be a ‘disaster’ for the town centre.
Shaid Hussain, who runs newsagents Good News as well as nearby Cafe Zen, told the Mail that plans floated by council chiefs in a bid to put an end to issues related to the controversial bollards scheme could ‘kill off’ trade if approved.
He instead lobbied for the introduction of a one-way system in the area rather than only opening up the street at certain times for deliveries, and even seeing buses diverted from using the road.
Mr Hussain (pictured) said: “I do not agree with the proposals and I think, if put in place, it could be a complete disaster.
“The removal of buses from High Street would see footfall drop dramatically and several shops, not just mine, would be massively impacted by a move like this.
“A lot of the business in the newsagents is from people walking past or getting set to jump on a bus and buying a drink or a paper.
“A move to fully pedestrianise the area would not work in my opinion, and I hope that after talks with the bus firms and businesses it does not go ahead.”
East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council revealed yesterday they were in talks with bus firm Arriva about proposals that could see the route only used by delivery vehicles at set times, to prevent drivers putting lives at risk by tailgating buses and crashing into the traffic management system.
The bollards have been out of action since March following a disagreement over funding between the councils.
Mark Winnington, the county council’s cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: “The safety of residents is the absolute priority for both councils and we are committed to working together to prevent lives being put at risk.
“We are looking at the options to see what works best for Burton and want to resolve this as swiftly as possible.”