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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Barrow town centre road closure pilot to make street safer

THE focal point of Barrow nightlife is to be closed to traffic at night times on weekends and bank holidays following fears revellers could be involved in collisions with cars.

The six-month pilot will be enforced from early 2014 in Cavendish Street, which has become the busiest part of Barrow on Friday and particularly Saturday nights.

Councillor Bill McEwan is chairman of the Barrow highways advisory sub-group which is among the bodies to have been consulted. Cllr McEwan said: “If you have been out in the night time economy, you will see people staggering about, there are cars whizzing round and it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Police have been in talks with Barrow Borough Council and Cumbria County Council over the closure. Officers said they want to take away the danger of people walking onto the busy road in the early hours after partying.

Inspector Mike O’Hagan and Sergeant John McIntosh, of Barrow Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We’ve been in consultation for around four months regarding the best way to keep people safe and are pleased to announce we are going into the implementation phase of a system where we will close the road on Cavendish Street, which is the hotspot for Barrow’s night-time economy.

“We are putting this measure in place to keep the people of Barrow and its visitors safe on a night out. This is a measure that can be found in other towns and cities and we believe it is long overdue.”

Road signs will signal the closure of the road from the junction of Cavendish Street and Dalkeith Street up to Dalton Road.

Mike Fallon, landlord of Theatre Bar in Cavendish Street, and chairman of the Barrow Licensed Victuallers’ Association, backed the closure. He said: “Someone will get run over coming out of places. People don’t look if there are any cars at 3am because they’ve been out enjoying themselves. It will be safer and leave the police with a better view and less distractions for the cameras outside the bars and the main camera going down Cavendish Street.”

A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said: “The council has been working closely with the police to implement an experimental order for a weekend night-time road closure on a section of Cavendish Street. The number of bars and clubs in this area has increased in recent years and an experimental order is being introduced for safety reasons to reduce the risk of collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles.”

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