March people want big brand name shops in town and a second bypass to ease traffic congestion, survey shows

People want the character of town to be preserved and traffic congestion to be tackled with a new bypass, according to a survey that was carried out to start the ball rolling on making plans for the future of March.

A survey showed people want the town centre tidying up and better facilities for young people.

They also want a better mix of shops with some big brand names while preserving the character of the town.

Respondents called for empty homes to be tackled and for infrastructure to match the number of new houses being built.

In almost half the replies (48 per cent) shops on the outskirts of March should be allowed to convert to housing to keep the town centre vibrant.

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Around 67 per cent said they used the town centre for daily food essentials, while 41 per cent used it for pubs and restaurants.

Around 32 per cent used the town for leisure and 74 per cent for medical appointments.

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Additional comments saw people calling for an extra town bypass to relieve heavy traffic, a new road crossing over the river and improvements to Gaul Road junction.

A total of 93 per cent of people said public rights of way should be encouraged and a strong theme was a call for public transport improvements like new bus routes, more bus stops and more frequent services and links.

A total of 97 per cent of people said they had not been affected by flooding - however 195 people recognised there were flooding problem ares in the area.

In September 2013 March Town Council applied to put together a neighbourhood plan and in November 2013 they sent out survey to more than 10,000 homes and businesses.

A total of 617 questionnaires were returned which represents a 5.6% response.

More than half came from people who have lived in the town for more than 25 years and 61 per cent of replies came from people aged 51 or older.

The findings were compiled into a report by McKenzie Town Planning and released as part of the six week consultation underway to create a neighbourhood plan outlining aims for the future of March,

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