Council eyes pedestrianisation schemes in city centre, Ashley Down, Clifton, Redland, Easton, and Eastville

The cabinet is set to ask WECA for funding for eight projects that aim to reduce the impact of traffic on high streets
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Several busy streets across Bristol have been earmarked for pedestrianisation by Bristol City Council in a £5.2million scheme.

The proposals could be finalised during a meeting on Tuesday (January 24) where the cabinet will decide on whether it will request funding from the West of England Combined Authority for projects that aim to reduce the impact of traffic on high streets.

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The projects would make provisions for safer walking and cycling routes in Bristol’s city centre, Ashley Down, Clifton, Redland, Easton, and Eastville. If secured, funds would also be allocated towards delivering permanent pedestrianisation schemes in Cotham Hill, Bristol’s Old City, and King Street, as well as closing Overton Road where it meets Gloucester Road in Ashley Down, to through traffic.

Similar pedestrianisation schemes have been implemented in the city, such as Clifton Village‘s Princess Victoria Street in August 2021. The trial was a bid to reduce congestion and encourage people to walk or cycle but it has split opinion among business owners and residents since its launch.

Bristol World visited businesses in Princess Victoria Street during November to see how the trial had gone and gathered the consensus that cafes and restaurants had benefited but many independent traders were suffering from the pilot’s side effects.

Richard Davis, owner of DBM Wines said: “Many of the independent shops and delis have suffered a substantial loss of business from the closure, mine included. The closure has driven away customers from other parts of Bristol who used Clifton Village as a shopping destination.”

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If approved, the council’s latest scheme would engage with residents and businesses to find out how they would like to make the timed road closures that are now permanent on Princess Victoria Street in Clifton and Denmark Street in the city centre look and feel more established before construction work begins. This would include resurfacing work, new signage, continuous pavements, planting and more.

Residents and businesses in Redland could also help shape plans for a timed road closure on Chandos Road despite some businesses on the road calling the planned pedestrianisation ‘a disaster’ when Bristol World visited on January 6.

Chandos RoadChandos Road
Chandos Road

Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We’re looking to transform a range of neighbourhoods across the city that are dominated by cars and other larger vehicles so we can open them up more for community use.

“Rebalancing our streets will encourage more people to embrace active travel, especially for shorter journeys, and make areas look more attractive while also supporting hospitality venues. Our overall ambition is to improve Bristol’s transport network to create cleaner air and better, more reliable bus services, improved walking and cycling routes, alongside our ongoing plans for an underground mass transit system.”

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