TRAMS, a vintage bus or even hotelier Stephanie Booth’s famous landtrain have all been suggested by councillors to bring shoppers back into the heart of Wrexham.
Members of the council’s environment and regeneration scrutiny committee have been given an update on a plan to re-introduce buses into High Street to help stimulate local trade.
The council recently carried out a consultation exercise which showed there was broad support for the idea from town centre traders.
But commercial bus operators sounded out on providing a service were less enthusiastic, highlighting various problems such as coping with traffic congestion and narrow roads - the same issues which saw buses withdrawn a number of years ago.
To overcome these difficulties officers have suggested a programme of engineering work to redesign the roads around High Street.
But committee members came up with their own novel suggestions for bringing in shoppers.
Cllr Ted George said: “Bristol is introducing tram-like vehicles into its town centre. If we did that in Wrexham we could then perhaps link High Street directly with the main bus station.”
Cllr Phil Wynn, said: “The latest estimate we have for doing the engineering work is £100,000.
“If we are going to spend that sort of money maybe we could consider a circular minibus that could pick up people from various points around the town and bring them into High Street.”
Cllr Geoff Lowe said he would support bringing trams to the town centre, but suggested a vintage bus was a cheaper and more achievable option.
He said: “I would certainly support a tram because we need to encourage people to use public transport and more importantly because of the general downturn in trade we need to get people back into the town centre, but at this difficult financial time it is perhaps a hurdle too high.
“But a vintage bus would be much more achievable - it would be a novelty and an attraction to the town and is certainly worthy of come consideration.”
Referring to the vehicle once used for promotional purposes by Stephanie Booth’s Llangollen Hotels before the group went into administration recently, Cllr Paul Pemberton, said: “Up until a few weeks ago there was landtrain parked behind the Wynnstay Hotel, which is now surplus to requirements. How about using that?”
Lead member for transport Cllr David Bithell said: “I’m not sure about a vintage bus or a landtrain.
“The idea of a circular bus was discussed at our last meeting with town centre traders and they were quite receptive.
“We will have to look at the feasibility of all these ideas.”
The committee called for a further report to be presented to their November meeting.
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