CHANGES have been made to the People Friendly Salisbury project – after almost 800 people shared their views on the scheme.
In response to points raised in the consultation, two areas will be removed from the plans – the first stage of the scheme will no longer restrict access to the Castle Street entrance to Central Car Park and Chipper Lane and part of Endless Street will be removed from the initial scheme.
Wiltshire Council say the experimental scheme will “help to transform the city of Salisbury, making it a more attractive place to visit, shop and work; and improving air quality”.
Overall the scheme aims to improve pedestrian priority in the shopping centre of Salisbury.
The council adds that it has “listened carefully to the views raised in the consultation and in response to feedback will now be making some changes as a result as the scheme is introduced”.
In total, 784 residents and business owners sharing their views on the project.
Councillor Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for Highways, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who has shared their views on this important project for Salisbury. It’s great that we’ve had such a fantastic response to this survey. We have listened carefully to the feedback from the consultation and are making the changes in response.
“People Friendly Salisbury has the backing of Salisbury City Council, Highways England, Salisbury Pubwatch, bus operators including Stagecoach and First, TravelWatch SouthWest, and many more local groups and stakeholders.
“This survey comes on the back of the city’s Central Area Framework consultation, to which people responded overwhelmingly in favour of the statement ‘the council should prioritise walking and cycling over cars’.
“The project will initially be installed for a trial period of 18 months and will also be subject to an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) during this period. A consultation will run alongside the ETRO, when people can share their views. The council can then make changes if parts of the scheme need improvements.”
Salisbury City Councillor Dr Mark McClelland has said that “the residents of Salisbury want to see improved cycle lanes not road closures and an ideological war on motorists.”
He added: “It is extraordinary that with the full resources of the unitary authority and heavily loaded survey questions that Wiltshire Council could only find 400 people in Salisbury to support its retrograde plans to block cars from travelling through the city centre.
“During roughly the same period, 1,200 people – three times the number who support the scheme – have signed an online petition calling on the council to perform a U-turn and stop the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO).
“It is also very disappointing to see the Cabinet Member for Highways continue to repeat the claim that Salisbury City Council supports the project when there has never been a vote on it at any committee or full council, and half the governing Conservative group opposes the plans.”
Cllr Wayman added: “We’d also like to thank people who contacted us about traffic on the A36, and we’re working closely with Highways England on a contingency plan, which includes measures to address impacts on the A36, using advanced monitoring technology to monitor traffic flows.
“This is a trial project that will help to make Salisbury a more attractive place to visit, shop and work, while improving air quality. People will still be able to access car parks in the city, and some vehicles, including emergency services, buses and coaches, taxis, Blue Badge holders, and residents and deliveries to businesses accessing properties in the low traffic area will still be able to drive through the bus gates.
“As we look to respond to the changing face of the high street and the climate emergency, we want to encourage people to walk or cycle where they can, instead of making short car journeys across the city that bring no benefit to the city’s economy. People Friendly Salisbury will help us to achieve that.”
The council say a total of 58 per cent of respondents were in favour of the scheme, with 35 per cent saying that the scheme “doesn’t go far enough”, and 23 per cent believing the scheme is “just right”.
36 per cent of respondents said that the project “goes too far”, and six per cent “didn’t know”.
For more information about the project, go to wiltshire.gov.uk/salisbury-people-friendly-streets