Decision due on Clifton pedestrianisation trial that has split opinion since launch

‘At some point you have to crack on with it’

Bristol City Council is set to decide whether a controversial pedestrianisation trial in Clifton Village should be made permanent as the scheme comes to an end this month.

The six-week trial, which has seen a stretch of Princess Victoria Street shut off to traffic from 11am until 5pm, was launched in August 2021 before being extended in December.

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Resident Mark Moran was strongly opposed to the pedestrianisation when BristolWorld spoke to him last year as he thought it was ‘killing’ the Village.

They’re now waiting to hear if the scheme will become a permanent fixture with the trial due to finish at the end of May.

But Richard Davis, owner of DBM Wines, told BristolWorld that he and other business owners were resigned to the fact that it was ‘a done deal’.

He said that the last six months trying to fight the pedestrianisation had been ‘exhausting’ and he was now keen to ‘get on with it’ regardless of the outcome of the consultation.

He said: “You might see more people milling around because of the trial, but they’re not coming into the shops and buying, that’s for sure.

“Some businesses have benefited, particularly hospitality, and we don’t begrudge them that.

“But once-regular customers from places like Westbury-on-Trym and Stoke Gifford don’t come here anymore.

“We don’t feel we’ve been listened to in this and we maintain that [the scheme] is very damaging.

Katy Grant, Bristol City Councillor for Clifton ward, told BristolWorld she hoped the ‘doom and gloom’ picture some traders and residents were painting ‘just wouldn’t happen’ and that footfall on the street would increase.

“But we’re business-minded people. At some point you have to crack on and try to make it work.”

BristolWorld asked Bristol City Council when a decision is likely to be reached with the trial due to end in a few days.

A spokesperson for Bristol City Council said: “We are listening to community, business and local councillors as well as reviewing the data and formal responses before a decision will be made.”