Ropergate in Pontefract could be partially pedestrianised, Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery says

One of Pontefract's town centre streets could be partially pedestrianised to boost cafes and restaurants.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 5:29 pm

Ropergate could become an 'access only' road for traffic, under plans revealed by the leader of Wakefield Council this week.

Business owners are being consulted about the idea, which is intended to allow diners to eat and drink outside.

A similar scheme was briefly in place on Northgate in Wakefield city centre last summer, before being abandoned after heavy criticism.

Ropergate in Pontefract

But council leader Denise Jeffery said that businesses in Pontefract had asked for the idea to be considered.

Speaking on Q&A session on Facebook, Coun Jeffery said: "We are looking at a partial pedestrianised scheme on Ropergate, so the cafes and restaurants down there can open out onto the pavement.

"A lot of them have suffered because they've not got any outside space and there are quite a lot of them down there.

"We are consulting at the moment but we are looking at doing it as access-only for traffic, so then we can look at putting tables out there."

Council leader Denise Jeffery

Northgate was pedestrianised for just two weeks last year, before the council U-turned and reopened it.

A number of shops, many of which had recently reopened after the first lockdown, said their takings had collapsed.

Coun Jeffery later expressed regrets about the scheme, branding it a "fiasco" in an interview in December 2020.

But speaking optimistically about Ropergate this week, she suggested a scheme there could be a success.

She added: "On Yorkshire Day a few years ago, we closed Ropergate to traffic entirely.

"We had some stalls all the way down there and it was absolutely fantastic.

"This is something that the cafe owners have asked us to do."

Local Democracy Reporting Service