Mixed feelings over £100k scheme to partially pedestranise Ropergate

The £100k scheme to partially pedestranise Ropergate in Pontefract got underway last week with a mixed reactions on social media.

By Julie Marshall
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 10:58 am

Almost 600 people commented on a Facebook Post on the Pontefract Community Page with some saying it was a good idea and improved the area while others said it was a waste of time and money.

Planters have been placed along one side of the street and businesses are being encouraged to put tables and chairs outside for customers to use throughout the day and into the evening.

Funding has been made available for them to buy the equipment.

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Although traffic is allowed to drive along Ropergate all parking has been removed with visitors directed to nearby Newgate North and Newgate South car parks, which have two hours’ free parking.

Coun George Ayre, Wakefield Council’s deputy cabinet member for planning and highways, said: “The plans for Ropergate are part of our vision for the regeneration of Pontefract town centre, creating a place people can be proud to call home.”

Paul Cartwright, chairman of Pontefract Civic Society said: “This trial from the council’s highways team is a positive opportunity to respond to the changing nature of town centres and in particular the increasing number of cafes and bars on Ropergate -  and there’s more on the way.

“The whole ambience of the street will change, and car parks with level access to the precinct are close by. We are pleased that our request has been accepted for a drop off/collect bay to support businesses and customers who need it.”

The Ropergate scheme is part of a wider plan for Pontefract town centre.

A scheme to improve Horsefair, one of the key roads linking the centre of Pontefract with the town’s castle has been approved.

Horsefair will be resurfaced and given new landscaping, with construction set to begin at the end of the year.

Wakefield Council said the project will improve the route for pedestrians and cyclists and encourage people to travel between the two landmarks.

Coun Matthew Morley, portfolio holder for transport, said: “This will improve the connectivity between the town centre and the castle.”