Community leaders have been considering the impact of the closure of a Moorlands high street while a Halloween event is held. Cheadle Town Council is set to host a night of spooks and entertainment on October 30 using money received from the government’s ‘Welcome Back Fund’ which aims to bring footfall back into high streets.
Community leaders have been considering the impact of the closure of a Moorlands high street while a Halloween event is held.
Cheadle Town Council is set to host a night of spooks and entertainment on October 30 using money received from the government’s ‘Welcome Back Fund’ which aims to bring footfall back into high streets.
Among the activities planned is a pumpkin trail during the half-term school holidays, which will encourage youngsters to find the fruit hidden or displayed in shops in the town.
On the day itself, there will also be best dressed window and fancy dress competitions as well as halloween-dressed living statues and music.
Provisional plans, which were discussed at the recent Cheadle Town Council meeting, aim for the event to start at 2pm and end at 7pm.
Half of Cheadle High Street is set to be closed to traffic from the turn-off to Cross Street for the duration of the event.
Cheadle Town Councillor Gary Bentley told the Times & Echo he would like to see the whole of the high street closed to encourage footfall to all the businesses along the road.
He also said he would like to implement a traffic light system that would see the Watt Place one-way street that joins onto the A521 towards Brookhouses become a temporary two-way road, allowing traffic back down past the Talbot Inn pub and onto Bank Street.
Cllr Bentley said: “I’m a bit disappointed that we’re not closing the whole high street so all businesses can benefit from footfall from the event.
“I’d like the traffic lights system in place as a trial run for the November 20 Christmas lights switch-on when 2,000 people come for late night shopping too.
“This is also because wagons would have to go on a detour all the way down to Tean because some can’t go down the one-way (Cross) Street due to weight restrictions.”
Fellow Cheadle Town Councillor Nigel Wood, who is one of the members leading the organisation of the Halloween event, gave his thoughts on cllr Bentley’s suggestions.
He said: “We didn’t want to close the high street because some traders say it ruins their passing trade but with the nature of halloween in itself, if we make people jump, we don’t want people jumping out into oncoming cars on the road.
“So we’re trying to make it as safe as possible and that is what is driving us to close half the high street.
“The only thing about closing the whole high street is we’d have to sort out the traffic lights because we have a one-way system around our town.
“If half the high street is closed from Cross Street then traffic can still flow through the other half of the high street and go down Cross Street and around the back of Chapel Street.”
Cllr Wood continued: “The Christmas lights are a different ball game because they have a lot more entertainment in the high street than I’m anticipating for the Halloween event.
“But he (Cllr Bentley) is right in what he is saying – when we close half the high street, we encourage crowds to be stagnant in a particular area.
“But what I’m intending is that I will have certain things going on at certain times over the whole of the high street.
“So it will be right at one end, almost where Leek Road is, and the other end, where Church Street is, so if people want to view something they will have to walk the length of the high street.
“For me, that is the part where I am encouraging footfall throughout the whole of the high street.
“I don’t want the entertainment to be focused on one point, I want it on the whole of the high street.”
Cllr Wood explained that the finalised plans for the event may not be “rubber-stamped” until Cheadle Town Council’s full council meeting on October 18 due to ratification processes.
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