Consultation on traffic in Walden's Market Square ends on Monday

Saffron Walden Market Square, Essex with people seated enjoying refreshments

Saffron Walden Market Square - Credit: Will Durrant

The leader of Saffron Walden Town Council says he is delighted at the "fantastic response" so far to a consultation about the future of Saffron Walden's Market Square.

Over 1,100 residents and visitors have already given their feedback. The consultation closes on Monday (January 24).

Phase one of the consultation asked people to think about the use of the town centre, and attracted over 1,500 comments.

This second phase of the consultation asks for preferences on traffic and pedestrianisation and notes that options one and two could be limited to certain months, times and days.

Option 1: Roads closed to traffic, pedestrianisation of Market Square.

Option 2: Roads partially open/closed - this would involve retention of the pedestrian area of Market Square but re-opening of King Street / part of Market Street to traffic and blue-badge parking.

Option 3: Reopening of all streets to traffic (no road closures at any time, other than the existing market closures).

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Town council leader, Councillor Paul Gadd said: "The town council has tried really hard to allow as many people to be involved as we possibly can do.

"We are delighted by the fact that there has been a large number of consultation responses. We have done it online, we have also been in the Market Square to ensure we talk to people who do not have email access.

"We have had a range of views. We will need to analyse them once the consultation is finished."

Cllr Gadd added: "Please do take part".

The questionnaire is on the town council's website (www.saffronwalden.gov.uk) and paper copies are available from Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.

Responses will be analysed and presented to the Town Council in March.

The decision will then be submitted to Essex Highways with a request to implement the changes, which will in turn trigger a further statutory consultation process. Changes could take 12 to 18 months to come into force.

In the meantime, the current temporary road closures end on Thursday January 27, reverting back to pre-Covid measures. The Market Square roads will reopen to parking all week, with the exception on Tuesday and Saturday Market Days.