Pedestrianised plans for Salisbury amended

Pedestrianised plans for Salisbury amended

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 9:29am 30th July 2020. (Updated at 11:01am 30th July 2020)

5 minute read

Wiltshire Council have altered the scheme for the city centre after feedback from residents and businesses.

Originally 13 streets were identified when the scheme, which aims to prioritise walking and cycling in the city centre, was announced earlier this month.

Under the new plans revealed today there are fewer areas where the majority of traffic will be banned.

The streets will be controlled by 'bus gates' which will allow exempted vehicles such as buses, taxis and blue badge holders through with cameras as support for enforcement.

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HOW WILL THE SCHEME BE IMPLEMENTED?

The scheme will be progressed in two phases.

Phase one will be implemented in the autumn, some of the city centre's streets will be closed to through traffic and access to Central Car Park will be altered.  This will include a physical barrier at Millstream Approach through the coach park.

In the spring/summer of 2021, depending on the outcome of this monitoring and feedback from the public and businesses, phase two will be implemented.

This would see a restriction on Mill Road/New Street/Crane Street to stop non-essential access to Churchfields industrial estate, improving the pedestrian link between the city centre and the cathedral; and the closure of the Fisherton Street access to Central Car Park, reducing traffic along Fisherton Street. 

These two sections will be closely monitored throughout phase one to measure their usage and the flow of traffic.

CONCERNS

The council says it has received a significant amount of positive feedback from residents, businesses, and interest groups in the city, and also several comments on various aspects of the scheme.

People's concerns mainly focus on traffic on the A36, access and parking for people with disabilities, access for deliveries and businesses, and the numbers of visitors and shoppers in the city.

Wiltshire Council says the new designs will help to allay several of these concerns and others; for example:  

  • Regarding the A36, Highways England, which operates the A36, is supportive of the scheme and is working closely with the council. Flows on the A36 are currently down on their pre-COVID levels, particularly in the peak morning and evening periods. The council will also make use of advanced monitoring technology to monitor traffic flows and movements on the A36 in real-time. It will have an agreed contingency plan to make changes to the scheme if required, based on this monitoring.
  • Some vehicles will be able to drive through the bus gates, including: buses; tourist coaches; taxis; Blue Badge holders; city centre residents, though they will not be able to drive through the city centre; and vehicles that are loading and unloading, although vehicles over 7.5t will be excluded between 10am and 4pm. Existing taxi rank and loading bay provision will not be reduced.
  • In terms of parking, on-street Blue Badge parking will remain as it is, as will on-street resident parking and access to private off-street parking. Existing public off-street car parks will remain open, but access may be restricted to particular routes/entry points. Pay and display on-street parking in the city centre will be removed and users will be directed to off-street car parks.
  • It is hoped that the scheme will increase the number of shoppers and visitors in the city, as has been the case with similar schemes, both in the UK and abroad, which have benefited businesses. 

The council has also created detailed FAQs that answer many questions, and explain the research behind the scheme. 

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Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: 

"We have listened to this feedback, and our officers have adapted the plans to maintain access for permitted vehicles and groups that need to use vehicles to access the city centre, including Blue Badge holders. We have also taken a two-phase approach so we can monitor Crane Street and Fisherton Street before making any changes in these two locations.

"We hope people will be excited and enthused by these plans, and we welcome more feedback on the scheme through the official survey, which people can answer online. Our teams will then use this feedback to help shape the implementation of the scheme.

"Once this feedback exercise has closed and work starts on the scheme in the autumn, people will once again have the opportunity to comment throughout the 18 months of the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.
"This exciting project will help to transform the city of Salisbury, making it a more attractive place to visit, shop and work; improving air quality; and prioritising pedestrians and cyclists over motorised vehicles."

Cllr Jeremy Nettle, Leader, Salisbury City Council, says the scheme could be a game-changer for the city.

 "I am sure I speak for a number of residents who will be very interested in participating in the People Friendly Salisbury consultation.
"We wait to learn what residents and the business community have to contribute, to what can only be described as a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to potentially reduce traffic, improve air quality and consider whether the city should permanently bring People Friendly Streets to Salisbury, through using the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. While also understanding the impact this may have on the capacity of our A36 Ring Road."

HAVE YOUR SAY:

The survey is open until 3pm on Thursday 13 August. 

You can take the survey here: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/salisbury-people-friendly-streets

 

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