Lancaster City Council is examining the longer-term options for the use of Dalton Square following the end of the current road closure arrangements.
In July 2020 Lancashire County Council introduced several highway traffic management schemes throughout the county in accordance with the Government’s Covid-19 recovery guidance.
One of these schemes involved the closure of Dalton Square to vehicular traffic to enable the temporary relocation of the city’s Charter Market to Dalton Square for social distancing purposes.
In late-2021 the Charter Market returned to the pedestrianised zone within the city centre. As a consequence there is now no legal justification that allows the county council to maintain the closure of the Square. This means that the closure will be lifted this month.
Feedback from users of the Square during the last 18 months has proved that the exclusion of vehicles has been positively-received and Lancaster City Council is now exploring ways in which the Square might be used for different functions that can increase city centre vibrancy.
Councillor Gina Dowding, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning and Place-Making at Lancaster City Council, said: “During the pandemic the city council has worked positively with the Business Improvement Districts, market traders and local businesses and residents to ensure that our centres are safe and accessible.
“During the relocation of the market, and more recently Lancaster on Ice, Dalton Square became a focal point of pedestrian activity, befitting the status of this important civic space.
“I know that many residents have appreciated the calmer atmosphere in the Square which was facilitated by this temporary closure to traffic and will be sad to see it go.
“Despite the reopening of the Square to traffic in the short-term, it is now the city council’s intention to examine how we can build on these recent successes and create longer term opportunities for recreational and leisure attractions, food and drink offers and pop-up retail opportunities, such as artisan markets, with a view to exploring the potential for permanent pedestrianisation of the Square.
"Our overall aim is to increase city centre footfall and create the conditions for a more diverse, healthy, and attractive public space.”