Fears traffic restrictions will leave residents in Cornwall tourist hotspot 'trapped'
Plans to restrict traffic in Fowey during the peak summer months have been branded 'absolutely ridiculous' and 'potentially dangerous'.
The newly published Fowey Town Centre Masterplan proposes barring all cars except buses, emergency vehicles and blue badge holders, from several streets between 11am and 4pm every day for the whole of June, July and August.
It would apply to Lostwithiel Street, including Place View and Harbour View, Esplanade and Fore Street up to Caffa Mill.
The plans read: "Access and servicing would need to take place out of these times.
"This will make it easier for the majority of people to move around in the town centre safely and comfortably whilst improving air quality and making it more suitable for cycles and mobility impaired.
"Access will still be possible outside these times."
Joan Allen, who lives in the town, said the plan would force full-time residents to stay “trapped at home and have to put life on hold for the summer”.
She went on to describe Fowey as "the town run for tourists and paid for by imprisoned residents".
The consultation has attracted many negative comments so far. One comment read: “You are trying to make Fowey into Disneyland for tourists and ignoring the people that live here.
"So we can’t go shopping, play sport, arrive from or to our only residence at times you decide - absolutely ridiculous and verging on illegal”.
“Fowey is a working town, not a model village for tourists," another resident wrote.
"People still need supermarket deliveries, access to properties, disabled and elderly people need access to drop items to their homes, care in the community need access at all times."
“You can’t make people hostages in their own homes during the hours of 11am to 4pm; life doesn’t work like that," a comment read.
Another stated: "Residents must have access to their properties at all times especially if they have a parking space. How else are they able to exit the town in an emergency for example.
"This is a ridiculous, unworkable and potentially dangerous plan."
Sally Vincent, the town clerk, said the masterplan is merely a collection of ideas to improve Fowey which will only go ahead if funding is found and if they get support from a majority of people.
She said: "It is a consultation, nothing that will necessarily go ahead. There's nothing written in stone, it's just an idea.
"Pedestrianisation has always been a very complicated topic in Fowey. The majority of local people would like to see it happen.
"There is virtually no parking in Fowey. Streets are so narrow there is just no space for vehicles and pedestrians. There have been some minor incidents."
Responding to some of the concerns that have so far been raised by residents, Ms Vincent explained that the masterplan includes ideas for shop owners to transport goods.
She added that emergency vehicles will always have access. However, deliveries to residents will not be able to go ahead during restricted hours and residents will have to opt for 'Click and collect' options.