Hinckley Town Partnership Limited (c)

Hinckley and District Chamber of Trade


Tel: 01455 634335


Leicestershire county and Hinckley and Bosworth borough councils and Hinckley BID are funding the £45,000 cost of turning the road back into a two-way traffic through route.


Initially, work was due to start in February.


But a county council spokesman said: “Following discussions with other partners, including utility companies, it is now likely that the work will start during the Easter period to minimise disruption


Chamber backs plans to re-open Regents Street

Plans to reopen Regent Street to traffic have been pushed back to Easter.

Leicestershire county and Hinckley and Bosworth borough councils and Hinckley BID are funding the £45,000 cost of turning the road back into a two-way traffic through route.


Initially, work was due to start in February.

But a county council spokesman said: “Following discussions with other partners, including utility companies, it is now likely that the work will start during the Easter period to minimise disruption and ensure that the works are closely co-ordinated. We’ll be providing a full update to businesses next month.”

Plans for the change were approved by the county council in March with a timetable for construction activity following the completion of The Crescent complex.


The move is a U-turn on a decision made by the county in 2003 when the street was shut to through traffic and access was officially permitted only for buses and bicycles as part of a £1.2 million pedestrianisation scheme.

The aim was to make Regent Street and the surrounding area a safe, environmentally more attractive place for businesses and shopping.


However, over the years the borough council and Hinckley BID have become increasingly concerned about a fall in trade along the street.


There have been previous attempts to reopen the road.

A survey was held in December 2014 and January this year to get people’s views on the proposals, which include opening the road to two-way traffic down the entire length of the road and creating an extra 12 parking spaces on the road.


Free one hour parking is expected.

While the change was largely welcomed some issues were raised such as the risk posed by increased traffic, impact on bus services and a rise in pollution.


But Jan Wightman, who runs Wightman Designer Goldsmiths with husband Tom, said the change could not come soon enough: “Regent Street was a nice, lively street when we came 32 years ago and the closure to traffic killed it dead.

“We lost a lot of shops at that time. I think the whole street has seen a drop in trade, I wouldn’t say ours has been as bad as some but the reopening can only be good news.”


Caroline Hubbard, who runs independent toy store Hubbard’s Toy Cupboard, said: “It’s something I have been fighting for.


“Sometimes you don’t see anything but a bus down here but also people do drive their cars along the street anyway so it seems a bit of a nonsense. The heart of the town has been shut off and people assume it’s just a street with bars and pubs and don’t visit.”


Rosemary Wright, president of the Hinckley and District Chamber of Trade, said: “We have long campaigned with others such as the Hinckley Town Centre Partnership to get this important street in the town taken back to what it once was - a thriving thoroughfare.


“We believe it will be good for business, for inward investment into the town, it will better link up with The Crescent, instead of as at the present time being separate, and will help to give a busy and less isolated perception of the street to residents and visitors to the town.


“With the excellent night time economy situated in Regent Street we trust that the area will be lively and successful both night and day in the very near future.


“The area has a lot going for it including car parks within easy walking distance.”