Why has this man decided to lie in the middle of the road?


Emily Davies

NO he hasn't fallen asleep, nor is he play chicken with cars.

In fact, road expert Ben Hamilton-Baille is lying in the middle of one of Oswestry's fastest roads in a bid to drive home the point that there is more to roads than cars.

A transformation at some of Oswestry’s main junctions and streets could be on the cards.

Following the visit of street designer Ben Hamilton-Baille on Friday, the town’s re-named Townscape and Transport Forum were told six points in particular should be assessed with the view to re-structure.

They are Cross Street, Willow Street, Castle Street and Albion Hill, plus the junctions of Church Street and Upper Brook Street, and Leg Street and Oswald Road.

The visit forms part of the forum’s proposal to help revitalise Oswestry’s town centre and boost local commerce through ‘civilised streets’ in which all road users, business owners and events share the spaces around them.

But Mr Hamilton-Baille said in comparison to many the town was doing well, commenting: “There are no radical changes needed in Oswestry; you have a thriving town centre, beautiful architecture – all town centres are going through changes and becoming redundant but towns will survive if they become places where people want to spend time and not because they have to.”

He continued: “There is an out-of-town development on the horizon and there is a fragility about the quality of this town which is going to be tested as the town shifts its focus to being a place that attracts people purely for its own cause and that is quite a challenge, but Oswestry is well placed for that.”

Mr Hamilton-Baille urged the forum to begin thinking about how to involve the public and see what they would like to see and where they would like to see it.

Forum chairman, Councillor Chris Schofield, said: “I think it is fascinating, all of it.
“The people in this forum know the town day in day out and they think it is a good idea. Through this we have started public consultation in a small way, now we need to push it out there.”

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