Chalk protest at plans to ‘de-pedestrianise’ Abington Street in Northampton

Coloured markings in Abington Street. ENGNNL00120140114165441
Coloured markings in Abington Street. ENGNNL00120140114165441

Protesters are set to take to Abington Street armed with chalk in a bid to get Northampton Borough Council to back down on plans to allow traffic on the shopping street.

The Occupy Northampton group, part of a larger social injustice challenging network, is inviting shoppers to take part in ‘Chalkupy’ on Saturday, March 29.

Organiser Phil Leach says passers-by will be asked to air feelings against the £3milliion proposals to allow traffic along the high street in the form of chalk messages or pictures.

Graphic designer Mr Leach, 32, said: “It’s water soluble so it’s not graffiti, it’s children friendly and it’s a fun thing to do .

“This is about sending a message from the people to the council, asking them to listen.”

The latest call to the borough council comes now more than 600 people have signed an online petition against ‘de-pedestrianising’ the street.

Iqbal Ramzan, manager of Abington Street clothes store Melody, believes the measures, if they come into force, would seriously harm trade along there.

He said: “Once you do this to a road, there’s going to be a reduction in the amount of footfall.

The bus station has already moved to the other half of town. The council is going to kill off this end of Northampton.”

The Conservative-led borough council says the plans are aimed at boosting trade in the area.