RENEWED talks over banning traffic from Colchester’s High Street have divided opinion.

Colchester Council’s policy and public initiatives panel will be asked to recommend commissioning a study looking at the options for reducing traffic in the town centre.

It comes 18 months after the panel requested a review of pedestrianisation.

A scheme was put in place in 2013 banning traffic between 11am and 6pm although buses, taxis, motorbikes and cycles were allowed access.

This was suspended a month later due to public concerns.

A number of readers were sceptical a similar plan would work.

In a poll run on the Gazette website 53 per cent were in favour, while 47 per cent were against.

Johan Mahoney-Berg suggested a congestion charge for drivers.

He said: “If people are so against pedestrianisation maybe a congestion charge for the town centre instead.

“When drivers have to pay £5.75 to drive up Head Street and or down High Street it will soon make them think about whether they really need to drive into town centre or not.”

But Simon Moore disagreed.

He said: “Keep it as it is. Doesn’t hurt to do a consultation every few years but pedestrianising the High Street will bring zero benefits to the town.”

Emma Powell said she thought full pedestrianisation was the way forward.

“Head Street should be reverted to two-way traffic so buses can come up North Hill, into Head Street and turn into St John’s Street,” she said.

“I shop in many other towns and shopping malls because there is no traffic.

“The High Street could be landscaped with seating areas.

“The potential to make the High Street a more enjoyable place to spend time are endless.”

The policy and public initiatives panel will meet on Monday to discuss the plans.