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Funding decision holds key to square revamp
6:30pm Friday 16th August 2013 in News
A DECISION about whether to redevelop Bicester’s Market Square could be made by the end of the year.
Million-pound proposals to pedestrianise the north side of the square and create two-way traffic on the south side were put on hold until the new town centre development was complete.
Now the £70m scheme has opened, the focus will return to Market Square.
Oxfordshire County Council planned to put £750,000 into redeveloping the area, with Cherwell District Council pumping in another £250,000. The county council is reviewing funding before a design decision.
In 2010 the council’s pedestrianisation plan came under fire from traders and residents, who handed in a 5,961-signature petition opposing the proposals.
They felt the area needed the buzz of traffic and loading bays and feared traders would lose out if car parking was lost.
Traders oppose pedestrianisation, and want the council to keep the historical nature of the square.
A county council spokesman said: “The council is reviewing the funding available to be spent in Bicester and how this corresponds with the priorities for the town. We would hope to make decisions on our priorities for Bicester by the end of the calendar year.”
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