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Old city improvements aim to restore former glories
Release date: Fri, 22/02/2013
The Old City area of the city is to be given a bold makeover in a move aimed at making it a prime destination, attracting more visitors and restoring it to former glories.
The local community is being invited to a workshop to consider proposals which have been developed from the public consultation last autumn.
These include an experimental traffic system, suspending parking bays and removing through traffic from Corn Street north of St Nicholas Street to create a more pedestrian-friendly, continental-style environment and encourage more on-street activity.
The workshop will be held at The Old Council House on Tuesday, February 26, from 8.30 until 10.30am. For details contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0117 9222969.
De-cluttering the profusion of traffic signs and reducing the number of on-street bins would also help to make the area more welcoming. Monthly Saturday markets along Corn Street would start in the spring.
The experimental traffic system would last for would be effective for one year from Summer 2013 and would be accompanied by temporary enhancement measures such as planters and decking in order to encourage the changed use of this area.
The changes are part of the Mayor of Bristol's vision for the city which he wants to make the most welcoming in Europe.
The Old City is central to this vision with Corn St restored as a proper high street, and with a high-quality redevelopment of the St Mary le Port site to restore the historic heart of the city. The Mayor has also plans to introduce traffic-free Sundays as part of his 'Make Sundays Special' campaign.
The Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said: "The Old City area is the historic heart of the city and a key part of our heritage. The proposals, which we have consulted widely on, will help make it more attractive, more visitor-friendly and more vibrant, drawing in tourists and Bristolians alike.
"The launch of a Saturday market will also give local businesses a shot in the arm, as will my 'Make Sundays Special' initiative starting in June during Big Green Week.”."
Councillor Guy Poultney, Cabinet Member for Homes, Planning and Regeneration, said: "Small businesses and independent traders like those in the Old City are at the heart of our plans for a better Bristol. There are some fantastically imaginative and innovative businesses in the Old City area which have been keen to see improvements. We are determined to do all we can for a thriving and vibrant city-centre."
Steve Melia from Living Heart said: “We conducted a survey of shoppers on Corn Street and found most people wanted to see the pedestrian area extended.
"We’re delighted that the council and the Mayor have responded positively to the consultation. This plan will bring new life to Bristol’s oldest quarter and we hope it will be the first of many small steps to reclaim our city centre from the traffic which dominates it at the moment.”
The original consultation suggested removing the parking spaces but keeping the traffic flowing through the area.
Living Heart for Bristol, set up by several environmental and community groups to campaign for more public space and less traffic in the city centre, came up with an alternative solution.
This involves removing general through traffic from Corn St and pedestrianising Corn St north of St Nicholas St and the top section of Small St. Reversing current traffic on St Nicholas St would retain access to other areas.
Access to Small St would generally be from Quay St which would become two-way from Christmas St. Vehicles would have access through Corn St during agreed hours.
The Living Heart alternative was widely supported and so the council have agreed to try it out.
The Pithay also emerged as a barrier to pedestrian movement, in particular conflict with the vehicles coming out onto Wine St.
The proposal is to make The Pithay one-way down to All Saints St to help resolve this issue and improve the junction for pedestrians .
In addition at Broad St/Corn St junction, High Cross corner would be redesigned, creating a speed table in order to enhance the pedestrian route and better market provision.
These changes will require Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and will be subject to the usual consultations. The TRO process for the permanent changes takes at least six months, but an experimental traffic order for Corn St/St Nicholas St etc could be in place for the summer.
Measures will also be put in place aimed at reducing on-street clutter. Unauthorised advertising and A-boards are being removed and an audit of existing signs and street furniture has been undertaken. De-cluttering works will now follow including the relocation of some CCTV columns and the removal of redundant i-plus points, among other 'furniture'.
Waste bins are real problem in some streets in the Old City
It is proposed to move towards a 'no bins on street' policy for trade waste. This would take a minimum of six months to roll out and would be subject to consultation. It would put existing businesses in the same situation re waste as new businesses who are already not allowed to store waste on street. The Old City could be used as a pilot area for this.
Further information is available at https://www.citizenspace.com/bristol/city-development/oldcity