Only 15 per cent of respondents in an open survey by the Penrith Chamber of Trade and Penrith Improvement District (BID) stated they would be in favour of exploring a one-way system through the town in future.

The two-pronged survey was created in response to the unpopular temporary road closures in Penrith town centre, which were lifted by Cumbria County Council two weeks ago after protests and widespread criticism.

It has yielded a number of surprising results after 210 business owners and members of the general public responded, including that 39.5 per cent of respondents did not know the road closure would take place until it had been installed, and only seven per cent were informed with at least a week’s warning.

Also, 74 per cent agreed the road closures would impact negatively on business recovery post-Covid-19 while 77 per cent supported the actions of the Chamber and BID in having the closures removed.

Stephen Macaulay, president of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “The main reason behind the survey was to measure the strength of feeling for and against the closure which will give both organisations content when they next meet with stakeholders and help discussions as the town bids for cash from the Government’s Active Travel Fund.

“It is interesting that less of the business owners wanted to remove the roadblocks than was represented in the open survey and that 40 per cent of business respondents wanted to investigate one-way options for King Street compare to 22 per cent in the general survey.

“We often hear that shop and business owners don’t want change and are not progressive when it comes to the town centre, but these stats suggest that is not the case.”

Eighty-three per cent stated they were in favour of the closures being removed in full.