Shrewsbury BID is calling for a rethink on future town centre roadworks, with business leaders criticising the council’s handling of the recent improvement works which have led to High Street being closed for more than two months. 

Representatives from Shrewsbury BID met with senior Shropshire Council officials on Tuesday (July 16) to discuss concerns about delays to works in the town centre and the severe disruption caused to businesses. 

Seb Slater, Executive Director of Shrewsbury BID said: 

“The consultation and communication regarding what has now turned into an 11-week road closure has been unacceptable. 

“At a time when town centres and particularly retail businesses face significant challenges, it’s vital that road works are well managed and communicated effectively to minimise disruption and any fall in visitors to the town. 

“We were pleased to work with the council and partners on the creation of Shoplatch Park but the road closure has now extended way beyond what was originally planned.” 

“We are also very disappointed at the lack of progress on the installation of the new Shrewsbury Wayfinding scheme. It’s a great partnership project that will improve the visitor experience and we were assured that rollout of the scheme would start over a year ago but still no totems have been installed.” 

At the meeting, Shrewsbury BID also reiterated its wider concerns regarding the SITP project with further works planned next year. 

Kevin Lockwood, Vice-Chair of Shrewsbury BID, said: 

“Whilst we welcome investment in the town centre, we wrote to Shropshire Council in February 2018 outlining our concerns regarding elements of the SITP programme. 

“We felt that some of the works and disruption in the town centre for fairly minor improvements to the visitor experience were simply not going to be worth it and that the investment could be better directed. 

“Look at the works at the bottom of Wyle Cop last year and Claremont Bank which have caused lots of disruption for very little gain.” 

Shrewsbury BID is urging Shropshire Council to fast track installation of the Wayfinding scheme and street furniture on Pride Hill, but to pause on future SITP works and look at how the investment could be better spent on transformational projects within the town centre aligned to the Big Town Plan, which is being led by a partnership of Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury BID.