FURIOUS locals have fought back against council bosses who wanted to turn their town into Disneyland and ban driving to attract tourists.

Plans to allows visitors to wander the streets of Fowey, Cornwall, were met with cries from residents that it would leave them feeling like "prisoners" in their homes.


Proposing a series of parking, streetscaping and traffic changes, the council wanted to ban motor vehicles, except for buses, emergency vehicles and blue badge holders, from several streets between 11am and 4pm every day in June, July and August.

The proposal was part of the Fowey Town Centre Masterplan which is currently up for public consultation, with the aim of making Fowey "more attractive".

It's led by the Fowey Town Team, which includes the town council, the Chamber of Commerce, Fowey Forum, Cornwall Councillor Andy Virr and the Fowey Harbour Commissioners.

The scheme has now been shelved after residents said Fowey is "a working town, not a model village for tourists".

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One resident, Joan Allen, said people would be "trapped at home and have to put life on hold for the summer".

She added "Fowey is a town run for tourists and paid for by imprisoned residents."

Another resident said: "You are trying to make Fowey into Disneyland for tourists and ignoring the people that live here.

"So we can't go shopping or playing sport or leaving or arriving from or to our only residence at times you decide – absolutely ridiculous and verging on illegal."

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Someone else who lives locally said: "Residents must have access to their properties at all times especially if they have a parking space.

"How else are they able to exit the town in an emergency for example. This is a ridiculous unworkable and potentially dangerous plan."

Revealing the U-turn, the new consultation reads: "We have taken on board that many people feel that we are not ready as a community for any change in our vehicular use of the town for some limited hours in the summer months, something that was suggested by some residents in early discussions.

"We have listened to this view and changed the proposals as a result.

"The masterplan seeks to reimagine how the streets and spaces can be in future, retaining the character of the town, but adapting to the needs of people today and in the next generation, and recognising the pressures from our changing environment.

"Plans to pedestrianise Fore Street will not be included in the final report; alternative signing proposals are set out instead.

"The proposals to change driving down Fore Street are withdrawn and any subsequent restriction period suggestions on the Esplanade and Harbour View are also withdrawn."

It says traffic restrictions have now all been dropped and the town team is now hoping to "use signing to dissuade unnecessary vehicles from entering the town centre".

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With a close-knit population of about 2,300 people, the town has been popular for a slew of famous faces.

Author Daphne du Maurier lived there while TV star Dawn French bought a £3 million clifftop mansion in the area a few years ago – and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay converted one of the high street banks into a restaurant.

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