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Traffic plan moves ahead
12:00pm Sunday 3rd March 2013 in Latest News
Bradford on Avon Town Council has backed the Historic Core Zone proposals for Market Street and Church Street.
Councillors agreed on the proposal on Tuesday, despite conflicting opinions from members of the public at the full council meeting. Cllr Janet Repton said: “I understand people’s fears but I think we should seize the day. We have everything to gain.”
The HCZ scheme aims to ‘rebalance’ the relationship between pedestrians and vehicles, and plans to ‘declutter’ the junction attracted 288 people to public consultations in January.
The plans include ramps to reduce traffic speed and raise the road surface to footpath levels, realigning kerbs to reduce the width of road crossings and removing the zebra crossing to create ‘courtesy’ crossings.
From the three consultations, 217 comments were received, with 59 per cent concerned about the loss of the zebra crossing in Market Street.
Cllr Simon Fisher said many concerns were based on fear of the unknown and the perception of a crossing being taken away. He said: “Status quo is not an option. We have to do something.”
David Moss, chairman of the Historic Core Zone Action Group, presented several amendments to the plans, responding to public concerns, which were backed by the town council.
The amendments include: expanding the zone northwards, to just below the Newtown junction, and adding two more courtesy crossings; amending the design of the courtesy crossings to look more like traditional crossings; using bollards to stop cars from driving on pavements; putting up clear signs warning drivers of the changes and checking the drainage can cope.
Mr Moss said: “This is a scheme that is important to Bradford on Avon to make it a nicer place to walk in.
“It will add to the enhancement of the town and help businesses in the centre flourish.”
Wiltshire Council, who will be paying for and providing the HCZ scheme, now have to get a costing for the new design, following the alterations. The original scheme was costed at £150,000.
If the HCZ is approved by Wiltshire Council later this year, the cost can then be put into its 2014/15 budget. £76,000 from the Five Towns Initiative, passed over from the old district council to Wiltshire Council to spend in Bradford on Avon, could pay for design work to be done this year, ready for work to start after April 2014.