Traders share optimism over Bristol suburb’s permanent ban on cars

Work has started on making the pedestrianisation scheme permanent
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Two years ago, a shopping street in a busy Bristol surburb was pedestrianised as part of a trial - today, the ‘popular’ scheme is being made permanent with work starting on the project.

And unlike in Princess Victoria Street in Clifton Village, where traders protested against the ban on cars, businesses in Cotham Hill, off Whiteladies Road, appear happy with the idea.

It all follows a two-year trial and a consultation which the council said there was strong support for keeping the area between Whiteladies Gate and Hampton Lane and between Hampton Park and Abbotsford Road pedestrianised.

The completed scheme will see widened pavements, new loading and disabled parking bays, new cycle stands, benches and bins, plus more trees.

Neve, a resident and employee at one of the shops shared that as a resident living around the corner, she was excited about the pedestrianisation because she believed that ‘once it’s all done, it will be a lovely area to live in’.

A similar opinion was shared at Muiño tapas restaurant, which despite the lovely weather was unable to put tables outside when we visited. Workers there believe that once the work is done it will benefit their business.

However, at a clothes shop, staff were unsure of the long-term plan of the scheme and admitted that there were fewer people, but accepted it was hard to quantify as now was a time many people went on holiday.

In an online post, Pasta Loco said that communication with the businesses had been terrible and the timing of the construction works has been the final nail in the coffin which led to the decision of closing down the business.

Work begins on the permanent pedestrianisation project at Cotham Hill, which is likely to be complete by the end of the yearWork begins on the permanent pedestrianisation project at Cotham Hill, which is likely to be complete by the end of the year
Work begins on the permanent pedestrianisation project at Cotham Hill, which is likely to be complete by the end of the year

On the other hand, at the Ministry of Beauty, staff shared that whilst some clients were having issues with parking, there were also new clients coming into the salon who had not realised it existed until they had to walk around the area.

Coffee House workers said they had been not affected negatively, and were looking forward to the constructions being completed as it would make Cotham Hill ‘more of a destination’ which would benefit the cafe.

Simon, at Brew House, shared that the pub had lost a few outdoor tables but not been too badly hit as they had the garden space on the other side of the road.

Overall, there were mixed feelings during the ongoing work, but optimism about the scheme once complete. Time will tell what benefit the project will bring.