A popular petition attacking planned restrictions on traffic in a Herefordshire town centre has been dismissed as being based on a conspiracy theory.

The petition, hosted by several Leominster shops, seeks to have a traffic regulation order (TRO) revoked on the town’s High Street and Corn Square.

It has already passed 1,000 signatures, according to Jan Lockett, administrator of the Leominster Info Facebook group, who is promoting it.

“This is what the Green Party is trying to sneak in before 4th May without asking businesses, traders & locals,” she said.

But town councillor Jacqui Herschy, not affiliated to the Greens, said: “There is a conspiracy theory that this is an attempt to force through [permanent changes] before the election, which is nonsense.


“There is no attempt by either the town or county councils to do something underhand. When the resurfacing of the High Street starts after the May Fair, it is simply much-needed resurfacing.”

However, there are longer-term proposals to prioritise pedestrians in Leominster town centre by taking traffic out of Corn Square and closing the High Street to vehicles between 10am and 4pm.

According to the official report on a consultation with residents and businesses last summer, “A majority of people were excited about potential alternative uses for Corn Square. Fewer than 1 in 4 considering parking to be an attractive option.”


Green Party leader in the county Coun Ellie Chowns said the petition “is entirely wrong in its claims, is spreading misinformation and causing people unnecessary anxiety”.

The plans for the area aim “to boost Leominster’s town centre, making it more accessible and inviting for all residents and visitors”, she added.

But a Conservative candidate for the town has made opposing these plans the focus of his campaign.

Simon Donegan, standing against the Greens’ Jenny Bartlett in Leominster East ward, said restrictions on traffic and parking “are the number-one issue in Leominster, they will kill the town centre and have a knock-on effect across the area”.

Business owners “are completely against” the measures, for whom they would be “the final nail in the coffin”, he added.

Anthony Newton, partner at Bright’s Butchers on the High Street, one of the shops hosting the petition, said: “Shops have done well when there has been free parking in the past.

“Some customers need their vehicles close by – or they may not come back.”