Bid to transform street into Boston’s ‘Shambles’

L-R Gareth Skinner, Robert Hempsall and Councillor Carol Taylor in Church Street, Boston, campaigning to promote the street.

L-R Gareth Skinner, Robert Hempsall and Councillor Carol Taylor in Church Street, Boston, campaigning to promote the street.

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Pedestrianising Boston’s Church Street could transform it into an area comparable to The Shambles in York, according to businesses.

Removing cars and restricting delivery times could be the key to making the historic street a more desirable destination for visitors to the town, they have said.

The suggestion is just one of a raft of measures put forward to try to promote this part of Boston and the independent businesses which are based there, which are still going strong despite economic pressures.

Coun Carol Taylor, who is spearheading the campaign, said: “I think Church Street is the future of Boston. We have got the best of Boston working together to make a powerful shopping experience.

“We want people to stop and not know which way to go because it all looks so good.”

At a meeting held at Rumblin Tums café ob Tuesday, business owners agreed they had to work together to promote the area. Suggestions included creating new signage to direct people down Church Street when they cross St Botolphs Bridge and working to promote the heritage of the area. By far the most popular option was to look into stopping traffic using the road.

Jason Cammack, who has taken over the Cross Keys building, said: “The big thing, for me, is pedestrianisation. It’s a nightmare.”

Matthew Clark, who owns The Assembly Rooms, added: “There would be a big uplift in trade if it was fully pedestrianised. We need to encourage people to turn right at the bottom of the bridge.”

At the meeting, businesses were encouraged to take up a scheme to reinstate historic features on buildings.

Comparing the area to The Shambles part of York, Steve Lumb, head of planning at Boston Borough Council, said: “Boston is really quite undiscovered, and it’s time to sell ourselves. We have got a very special area down here.”