Dining out in the open

AL fresco dining with tables spilling out of restaurants to line the street is on the cards for St Ives, if businesses and Huntingdonshire District Council support it. The European trend of cafe culture could arrive in Bridge Street if the district counc

AL fresco dining with tables spilling out of restaurants to line the street is on the cards for St Ives, if businesses and Huntingdonshire District Council support it.

The European trend of cafe culture could arrive in Bridge Street if the district council agrees to make the street traffic-free after 10am.

In September, the Huntingdonshire Traffic Management Area Joint Committee was presented with a 116-signature petition from a representative of St Ives Town Centre Initiative. It asked for permission to use Bridge Street, which has six restaurants, for pavement cafés, licensed by Huntingdonshire District Council.

St Ives town centre manager Alistair Theobald said: "The street can't be fully pedestrianised because of the people who live there so we are proposing a compromise to restrict traffic at certain times of the day. This would mean all deliveries to businesses would have to be made in the morning.

"We want to make St Ives a more viable place for business. If the proposal is approved, cafes would be able to apply for street cafe permits to provide outdoor eating which will add to the pleasure of shopping."

The proposal was discussed at Huntingdonshire Traffic Management Area Joint Committee recently, when it was concluded further discussion was needed.

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Mr Theobald added: "We have got a lot of consultation to do with the traders and it is hoped this scheme will help the businesses in the area. We are trying to make the street better for shoppers and traders but we do not want to rush into anything.

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