Police Inspector Chris Chammings is reassuring Bradford on Avon residents concerned about pedestrian safety surrounding the Historic Core Zone plans.

The HCZ aims to ‘rebalance the relationship between pedestrians and vehicles and to reduce the dominance and intimidation of traffic’ and phase one focuses on the Market Street/Church Street junction.

Martin Wood, of Grove Leaze, has lived in the town since 1983 and recently used a Freedom of Information request to study the number of accidents before and after a similar scheme was completed in Poynton, Cheshire.

The period covered was July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2010, before the Poynton scheme was introduced, and March 31, 2012 to March 31, 2014, after it was completed.

His request revealed that before the scheme there were nine accidents, one involving a pedestrian, and after the scheme was completed there were six accidents, four of these involving a pedestrian.

He said: “My son and daughter-in-law live in Poynton and earlier in the year they told me about another accident.

“That was what led me to investigate it. Local people here have expressed a lot of doubts about the scheme.

“I know you can’t draw a conclusion from one scheme but it is concerning. I would like to see the pedestrian crossing in Market Street kept.”

Inspector Chammings said: “Public safety is paramount to Wiltshire Police and we will work closely with partner agencies to ensure this is not compromised.”

The final decision on whether to proceed and to allocate resources to phase one of the project will be taken by Councillor John Thomson, portfolio holder for highways at Wiltshire Council.