Traders reveal cultural vision for Exeter's Fore Street
TRADERS in Exeter's Fore Street are developing their own plans to enhance the popular shopping area in the city centre.
Ideas include a trolley car to travel up and down the hill more easily, wider pavements to allow pavement cafes and better signage.
They also believe the street could provide one of the planned cultural pockets which the city council is keen to establish in Exeter.
The traders are responding to the unveiling last week of the city council's vision for Exeter over the next 10 years.
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As revealed in the Echo, the council has produced a discussion paper which recommends the need to better link Fore Street with the rest of the city centre.
Jo Greenwood, of the Real McCoy in McCoy's Arcade in Fore Street, said: "Bringing the old trolley cars back would be a massive draw for the area and of course provide an easier journey for those wanting to travel the dreaded Fore Street hill.
"At the very least making Fore Street one-way and increasing the pavement width would create a friendlier space for pavement cafes and maybe even a small market.
"The trip further down the hill is spoilt because unfortunately Exe Bridges is a bit of an eyesore, but that could be helped maybe with a different colour scheme, more planting and artwork. All these things would create a better flow from the centre down to the Quay and I think more signage would help. I really want to have something over the top of Fore Street welcoming people to the West Quarter."
The city council believes creating pockets of cultural activity such as street theatre, would draw people into different parts of the city centre.
Jo said: "In the West Quarter we have a growing number of artistic and talented folk who, I'm sure, would love be a part of any planned cultural spots in the area. As a large growing city centre we need to embrace the local independents as well as the larger retail outlets.
"This is something I have previously mentioned to the council so I am pleased it could now be actually happening."
The Fore Street Collective, formed by a group of traders in the run-up to Christmas, raised funds to provide more festive lights for the street.
Jo added: "I think the city centre has benefited from the recent input of Princesshay and John Lewis, but there is a bigger picture and a bigger city, which includes many independent and interesting retailers, which add much needed diversity.
"Linking the High Street and the Quay is a great idea to bring greater footfall to Fore Street and give locals and visitors the chance to explore the sights and shops which make Exeter such a great city."