People in Bradford on Avon want something done about the traffic; intimidation, difficulty crossing the road, air pollution, noise, etc.
But most of us are sometimes pedestrians and sometimes part of the traffic. And the town’s economy depends upon people wanting to come to Bradford to see it and to spend money here.
We don’t like the way traffic now affects the town, but we don’t want to be without it either. How can we solve this one?
A number of old towns facing similar problems have created an “Historic Core Zone” in their central areas. The idea is now being developed for Bradford on Avon. It started in the “Taming the Traffic” consultation that you may remember from about 18 months ago; as part of this an Action Group was set up to develop the idea.
Wiltshire Council has recently appointed consultants, Colin Buchanan, to develop proposals. What would an HCZ in Bradford mean? The idea is to re-think our streets so that pedestrians and cyclists would have greater priority.
Central Bradford would be somewhere where it would be pleasant just to stroll around on a summer evening. There are many possible ways of achieving this –
- widening footpaths and narrowing roads; and introducing “shared space”, without kerbs to separate pedestrian and vehicles;
- discouraging unnecessary journeys and designing the roads to reduce traffic speeds (a 20 mph limit is usual in other HCZs);
- making it less difficult to cross the road;
- using street-side parking to narrow the roadway and slow down traffic;
- keeping out heavy and over large lorries; and many more.
And it is not just about the relationship between pedestrians and motorists. An HCZ should also make the town look nicer: by reducing the number of street signs and of markings painted on the road, by careful choice of materials for paving and for lampposts and seats, and by planting of trees and bushes.
We will all have a chance to comment on the consultants’ proposals in a few months time. Meanwhile, for more information or to add your own comments, go to www.priorityforpeople.org
(Contributed by: David Moss)