Clifton Village pedestrianisation: Consultation extended amid ‘mixed feelings’ for trial scheme
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A consultation on the trial pedestrianisation of a main route in Clifton Village has been extended.
A section of Princess Victoria Street has been shut to traffic from 11am to 5pm as part of the scheme since August.
Bristol City Council brought in the closure in a bid to reduce congestion and encourage walking and cycling.
However, strong opposition has been mounted, including from more than 100 traders who wrote an open letter warning of ‘irrevocable change’ if the scheme remained.
At the trial’s launch, a six-month consultation was started in a bid to get people’s views and collect data before a decision could be made on its future.
But this week, the city council revealed that the consultation had been extended to May next year.
What the council said
A Bristol City Council spokesperson said while the scheme was under constant review, more time was needed to get feedback.
They said: “The trial pedestrianisation of Princess Victoria Street remains under constant review as we monitor its impact, gather data and consider consultation feedback.
“Whilst it’s clear that there are mixed feelings about the trial, with many positive comments being received alongside some concerns raised by local businesses, we still need more feedback and data to inform our decision about the future of the scheme.
“We’re therefore extending the monitoring period to May 2022 to support us gathering this data in order to produce a report for consideration later in the year.”
Views of those against the scheme
In November, more than 100 traders called on the public to support them in asking for a controversial pedestrianisation scheme to be revised.
In an open letter, they also warned of “irrevocable change to the neighbourhood we all love” if nothing is done.
Traders say customers struggle to get to the shops and now go elsewhere due to the traffic restrictions.
Businesses also claim takings have gone down since the scheme was introduced.
Lisa Elliott, owner of Lisa Elliott Floral Design, said: “We just feel that customers feel that the village is cut off for them now.”
Views of those for the scheme
Bristol City Councillor Paula O’Rourke was among the proposers for the scheme, and has defended it since its launch.
She has previously said the road closure is one way to encourage people to walk and cycle in the area, while also making the area ‘even more vibrant and exciting’.
She said: “I believe that what we are doing in Clifton will benefit the whole area for residents, traders and for visitors.”
When will a decision be made
At its launch, the council said the trial would last up to 18 months. There is no indication that will change and a decision should be made this time next year on its future.