10:00am Wednesday 16th January 2013
By Katie Smith
The first public exhibition of plans to improve Bradford on Avon’s streets has raised concerns among residents.
Plans to 'declutter' the Market Street and Church Street junction went on display in St Margaret’s Hall for three hours on Tuesday, giving visitors a chance to see the future of the town.
The plans include ramps to reduce traffic speed and raise the road surface to footway levels, realigning kerbs to reduce the width of road crossings and removing the zebra crossing to create 'courtesy' crossings.
Godfrey Marks, 78, of Newtown, has campaigned about traffic issues in Bradford since 1996.
He said: “The Historic Core Zone has been hijacked by the latest fashion for sharing space. By squeezing traffic, you are creating a bottleneck and slower traffic will increase queues.
“This is a safety issue and is discriminating against pedestrians. If you take away the obligation to stop, things will become worse.”
The proposed scheme aims to 'rebalance' the relationship between pedestrians and vehicles.
Andrew Jenkins, who has been in business and lived in Market Street for 48 years, said: “A zebra crossing has only just been put into Silver Street and now they are taking the Market Street one away. It doesn’t make sense.
“I use that crossing up to 20 times a day and, if it is removed, it will cause many accidents.”
Laura Gosling, a senior transport planner for Wiltshire Council, said: “This is not a traditional traffic scheme; it is thinking outside the box. It will slow the traffic and has been proved to work in other areas, such as Shrewsbury, Bury St Edmunds and Halifax.
“Comments have been made regarding people with disabilities, but we met disability groups and made amendments.”
Councillor Gwen Allison said: “A lot of people have concerns, which we will collate together and I hope we can deal with them.”
Mayor John Potter said: “The scheme will slow down traffic and make drivers aware with what is going on.”
The exhibition is open again in St Margaret's Hall on Wednesday, from 2-5pm, and on January 31, from 6-9pm.
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