Following publication of plans for a ‘shared space’ open to through traffic in the Old City, Living Heart for Bristol

has arranged a public meeting at 8pm on Thursday November 1st at Horts pub, on Broad Street.  Living Heart for Bristol   http://www.livingheart.org.uk/  would prefer pedestrianisation (with access for cyclists), and is calling on people to comment before the Council’s deadline of November 16th.  Emails can be sent to:
 
The Council is consulting on plans to create a ‘shared space’, where pavements are removed and pedestrians mingle with traffic, on Corn Street and Clare Street. The deadline for comments is November 16th.  The BCC consultation document acknowledges that “there have been many calls for pedestrianisation” of these streets but argues that removing through traffic is “not essential”.  Instead, it proposes a shared flat surface and a 20mph limit.  It does not explain whether the existing pedestrianised area would be retained, or opened to through traffic.
 
Shared space has proved controversial in other places.  Bath and Northeast Somerset Council recently removed a shared space scheme, in Julian Road, Bath, returning to conventional pavements and crossings following complaints from the public.
 
Spokesman for Living Heart for Bristol, Steve Melia, said:
 
“We would rather see these streets pedestrianised, or at the very least, closed to through traffic.  We do not believe sharing space with vehicles moving at up to 20mph creates an encouraging environment for pedestrians – particularly families with children, or people with disabilities.  The consultation document claims that through traffic ‘creates activity’ but this is nonsense.  Look at Corn Street at the moment.  Where is all the activity concentrated? In the small pedestrianised area by St. Nicholas’ market.  If you want to hear more, and have your say, come along to our public meeting and send your comments to the Council before November 16th.”

 

 Update November 6th:
 
A survey conducted for the Living Heart of Bristol has revealed that over two-thirds of people want to see the pedestrianised area of Corn Street extended.  The Council is currently consulting on proposals to convert streets in the Old City to ‘shared space’, where pedestrians mingle with vehicles.  Only 11% supported that proposal.
 
The survey was conducted on Saturday morning in and around Corn Street and St. Nicholas market.  It was completed by 145 people, including local people, visitors and market stallholders.  The questioners were briefed to avoid influencing the respondents: only after they had responded were they told which option was preferred by the Living Heart for Bristol, and which option by the Council.  A copy of the questionnaire and the results can be viewed on: www.livingheart.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Questionnaire-Conducted-on-Corn-Street3.pdf
 
The Living Heart for Bristol is urging people to respond to the consultation before the deadline on November 16th.  The Council’s consultation document and the Living Heart for Bristol’s alternative proposal can be viewed on: www.livingheart.org.uk/2012/10/15/old-city-consultation-and-meeting/
 
Spokesman Steve Melia said:
 
“Bristol has a long and sorry tradition of grand proposals, which spend a lot of public money and fail to address the real problems.  This proposal is part of that tradition.  The real problem in the Old City is unnecessary through traffic.  The solution is very simple – a relatively small extension to the pedestrianised area would remove the through traffic and allow access to all the buildings which need it.”
 
Ciaran Mundy of Transition Bristol said:
 
“A rare opportunity exists to improve the health and well-being of people who live or work in the centre of Bristol. If we really want to be a Green Capital, getting rid of through traffic from the centre is an obvious choice and this survey shows a strong majority of people want to see this too.”
 
Tony Dyer of Bristol Living Streets said:
 
“At every community event I have attended where people have been asked for their views on how to improve the City Centre, there have been calls for greater pedestrianisation of Corn Street.  Any new Mayor who wishes to be a catalyst for change in Bristol needs to address the sad neglect of our historic city.”