Clifton Village traders issue desperate plea over controversial pedestrianisation trial

‘Without enough customers, there will be fewer independent traders, and more national chains, charity shops and food outlets’

More than 100 traders in Clifton Village have called on the public to support them in asking for a controversial pedestrianisation scheme to be revised.

In an open letter issued this week, they also warned of “irrevocable change to the neighbourhood we all love” if nothing is done.

It all relates to the pedestrianisation of Princess Victoria Street, imposed in August by Bristol City Council as part of a trial to last up to 18 months.

The scheme means the road is shut to traffic from 11am to 5pm everyday, including weekends, between Waterloo Road and Regent Street.

Now the businesses have issued an open letter calling on residents to write to the city council to ask for the scheme to be revised while it is in a six-month consultation stage.

Richard Davis, Owner of DMB Wines

Richard Davis, owner of DMB Wines, said: “Most of the businesses in the villages are worried with drop in footfall since pedestrianisation came in.

“They’ve been complaining to the council and councillors about it but apart from nice words there’s been no action about it.

“So the businesses got together and wrote an open letter to the residents hoping that the residents would raise the issues for them because the councillors have said to us that they don’t really represent the businesses, they represent the residents.

“It seemed sensible to appeal to the residents and explain to them the consequences of what is happening.”

JP Van Hoover, owner of About Face, said: “People from further afield who just have to pop over the bridge to get there, a lot of whom are elderly, just can’t get here anymore and they will just go somewhere else in order to do their shopping.

“Clifton Village is a massive corner shop really, that’s the way you have to think of it , for a whole large area on the other side of the bridge and further into Bristol as well.”

Princess Victoria Street (Pic from BristolWorld)

Lisa Elliott, owner of Lisa Elliott Floral Design added: “This has impacted business as we just feel customers can’t easily get into the village, the ones who want to drive and not everyone can get on their bike, also carrying a bouquet for flowers on a bike is not the best solution anyway.

“We just feel that customers feel that the village is cut off for them now.”

Lisa Elliott of Lisa Elliott Floral Design at work in her shop (Pic from BristolWorld)

Bristol City Council introduced the scheme in a move aimed at decreasing pollution and provide space for people to shop safely.

Last month a spokesperson said the scheme was a ‘leading example of the changes being made to roads and streets to create more liveable neighbourhoods.”

They also said feedback had been positive.

But the open letter from businesses suggests otherwise.

It reads: “The traffic experiment has achieved its goal of stopping traffic, but it has also driven a large volume of customers to shop elsewhere.

“This has had a substantial and negative impact on a great number of traders, both large and small from every corner of the village.”

It continues: “We are desperate to work with you, the residents, and the authorities to achieve this, but need to be trading profitably.

“Without enough customers, there will be fewer independent traders, and more national chains, charity shops and food outlets.

“We, the traders listed below, ask you to support our fellow shops and businesses, not only with your much needed and valued custom, but by making representation to our councillors and council to review their street closure and let some life back into the village.

“Although some are thriving, others are showing real stress as takings continue to plummet.

“As traders we are aware that the village only thrives when we all thrive, and we choose to stand in support of each other.

“We are approaching the key Christmas trading period, with autumnal weather making outside space less attractive and fewer people choosing to shop in Clifton Village.

“It is vital that we bring some life back to the village before there is irrevocable change to the neighbourhood we all love.

“Clifton councillors tell us they primarily represent the residents, not the businesses.

“We plead with you to support your village by making your voice heard.”

Princess Victoria Street

The following businesses in Clifton Village have specifically agreed to sign the letter:

  • About Face
  • Alexander May
  • Allen and Harris
  • Anna’s Cakes
  • Atelier Clifton 
  • Atkinsons
  • Aurea
  • Bar Chocolat
  • Bar Forty Four
  • Belle du Jour
  • Blossom Floral Design
  • Bosco Pizza 
  • Bracey Interiors
  • Bradley & Co 
  • British Barber Company
  • Cameron Lee
  • Chandos Deli
  • Clair Swinscoe Studio 
  • Couture
  • Clifton Ceramics
  • Clifton Club
  • Clifton Cobbler
  • Clifton Contemporary Art
  • Clifton Dental Surgery
  • Clifton Fish Bar
  • Clifton Hardware
  • Clifton Pharmacy
  • Clifton Sausage
  • Clifton Village Butchers
  • Clifton Village Jewellers
  • Computer Repairs - SW
  • Co-op
  • Core and Ore
  • Crew Clothing
  • Croft Communications 
  • DBM Wines
  • Dragon Workshop
  • Eden
  • Elephant Estate Agent
  • Elizabeth James
  • f4 Photography
  • Fabrizio’s Barber Shop
  • Feel Fit
  • Focus On The Past
  • Forest Flowers
  • Foster Jewelry 
  • Four Wealth Management
  • Geeves of Clifton
  • Gert Lush
  • Gissings Boutique
  • Grace and Mabel
  • Grey Harris
  • Hamptons
  • Harbour - Family Law
  • Hopewell Estate Agent 
  • HQ Hairdressing 
  • Hydes
  • Indira Rose
  • Instep Shoes
  • Interior Oasis
  • John Titcombe 
  • Kitchen Man
  • Lisa Elliot 
  • Lloyd Williams
  • Lulu Cosmetics
  • Maze
  • Mele Town and Country
  • Miles Morgan Travel Agent
  • MilkBun
  • Mint Velvet
  • Movement Boutique
  • My English Home 
  • NFU
  • Noa
  • Nook Deco
  • Nutmeg
  • OMGlamour 
  • Otomi
  • Parsons
  • POD
  • Portside Gallery
  • Reg The Veg
  • Romans 
  • Rupert Oliver
  • Sahara
  • Sarah Kenny
  • Savills
  • Savy’s Barber Shop
  • Scrivens
  • Shy Mimosa
  • Silver Squid
  • SJP Interior Design
  • Sky
  • Solelution
  • Sunday General
  • Terry Cox
  • Tesco
  • The Albion
  • The Dirty Bird
  • The Dog House 
  • The Fabric House
  • The Ivy
  • The Mall Deli
  • The Mall Pub
  • The Mews Bridal
  • The Moroccan Tile Co
  • The Practice Rooms 
  • The Quadrant
  • The Somerset
  • Timber Windows
  • Treblerock
  • Twelve
  • Village
  • Waterstones
  • Wylde - Goldsmiths