Calls for pedestrian crossing link in Montpellier
TRADERS are calling for a pedestrian crossing to be installed next to Montpellier Gardens to encourage festival crowds to cross over and visit the shops.
Business leaders in the upmarket district of Cheltenham are in discussions with the borough and county councils, calling for a temporary crossing across the Promenade.
They say it would help them capitalise on the influx of people into the area for the town's showpiece festivals.
It is hoped the crossing could be installed for Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which takes place from May 1 to May 6.
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Margaret Cavanagh, chairwoman of the Montpellier Association, said: "We just want to build up stronger links with the festivals and having a crossing there would encourage more people using the gardens to come and discover the wealth of shops we have got to offer.
"It's really just about linking up so people can appreciate Montpellier as a whole.
"We've got all these events going on in Montpellier Gardens and this will make it easier for people to come across the road and have a look around."
If it goes ahead, the crossing would be installed directly outside the gardens' main gate.
The move is one of several ideas traders in Montpellier have come up with to promote the area to visitors.
They have also considered rebranding Montpellier as a boutique shopping village.
Although they have only asked for the temporary crossing during the Jazz Festival, they are hoping it could be a regular feature during other marquee events in Montpellier Gardens, including the Food and Drink and Literature festivals.
Margaret added that the crossing would improve pedestrian safety in Montpellier.
She said: "At the moment it is difficult to cross the road and although there is an area of road which is a different colour, it's not a proper crossing.
"When you've got such a high volume of people you've got to cater for them properly. Ideally we would like this to be a permanent feature."
The plan is understood to be under discussion by borough and county authorities.
Councillor Barbara Driver (C, Lansdown) backed the idea, saying: "I know this is something the traders want and I support them in that. You've got lots of people flooding into the area and so why shouldn't they try to make the most of that?"