Business owners on Kimpton Road fear ‘red routes will kill our shops’

Proposed red routes for Windmill Road, Kimpton Road and Airport Way area
Proposed red routes for Windmill Road, Kimpton Road and Airport Way area

Business owners on Kimpton Road claim proposed red routes will kill their businesses.

William Hill, Cheese and Pickle Sandwich Bar, Kimpton Food and Wine, The Sicilian Cafe and Plumbs DIY make up the parade of shops and are all against the proposed red routes on Kimpton Road.

Luton Council is proposing to implement a network of red routes in the town to improve traffic flow, ease congestion and provide better provision for legal parking. The businesses believe if the red route goes ahead it will stop their customers from shopping there.

Jennifer Smith, manager of William Hill, has been working with the other shops to find a way to prevent the road being red routed.

She said: “All of our businesses are dependent on our loyal customers and the access they have to our shops, footfall is not high on our road and very often our businesses are only accessible by car, dependent always on if they can actually find space to park.

“We have good customers who go out of their way to use our business. The proposed red route will negate any loyalties our customer have.”

Paul Sanders, owner of Plumbs DIY which has been on Kimpton Road for over 50 years, said: “We need to accept deliveries from our suppliers between 9am and 6pm as this is what our clients demand, this will not be possible with the red routes. The struggle is lack of parking for our customers, all the shops here are against it, a red route here will kill our businesses.”

The Sicilian cafe has been on Kimpton Road since 1985, a spokesman for the business said: “We really can’t see the necessity of these red routes along Kimpton road. There has NEVER been an issue with traffic congestion. We feel that these red routes will kill our already struggling businesses.

“People will simply avoid this road. How will we get our deliveries, bin collections, parcels etc. and how will the residents that live above the businesses receive theirs?”

Cheese and Pickle Sandwich bar said: “All the other businesses along Kimpton road feel the same and are all very concerned. It’s a very worrying and stressful time.”

A spokesman for Luton Council said: “We are currently consulting on proposals to trial a network of Red Routes on the highway network in Luton.

“This comes after road users told of significant delays and disruptions to traffic flow caused by inconsiderate and illegal vehicle parking. The aim of the trial is to improve traffic flows, especially on the busiest roads across town.

“A Red Route is identified by double or single red carriageway markings that extend over the length of road where ‘No stopping’ restrictions are in place.

“Benefits could include reduced traffic noise, better air quality and increased reliability of public transport.

“We would also like to reassure residents and business owners that the proposed Red Routes maintain existing parking bays.

“The council is also investigating opportunities for additional parking in the area and will soon be consulting on this. We are very much in the consultation phase of this process and open to feedback. You can visit the portal consult.luton.gov.uk/portal/lbc/ to have your say.”

The deadline for feedback on the proposal is Friday, June 8.