“Creating a city centre which is beautiful, economically vibrant and happy means designing it for people. Other cities have demonstrated that the way to do this is to remove the dominance of motorised through traffic from the heart of the city. Bordeaux, our French twin, has done it years ago; the areas of that city released from congestion have thrived; the pleasure of being a citizen or visitor there is immeasurably improved; the economic vitality of the city centre is there for all to see. Access is maintained for all who need it. The living heart of the city is able once more to be enjoyed by all. That is what we aim for. ”
Endorsed by the Mayor of Bristol
The declaration below was endorsed by all the main candidates in the run-up to the mayoral elections of 2016:
- Tom Baldwin, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
- Kay Barnard, Liberal Democrat
- Tony Dyer, Green Party
- George Ferguson, Independent
- Charles Lucas, Conservative
- Marvin Rees, Labour
Declaration of principles
If you support the principles of this declaration please join our mailing list and help us work towards making this a reality:
- A living heart is essential for a healthy city. We can make the centre of Bristol a great place for walking, cycling, working, relaxing and playing. There is strong evidence that cities which do this also improve their economies and the health of their citizens.
- Careful planning of road layouts can maintain car access for all, and improve it for disabled drivers and essential vehicles, whilst diverting through traffic away from central areas. Cities which have done this have also reduced their overall levels of traffic, as many people switch from driving to other means,reducing traffic congestion and travel times.
- The central areas of Bristol can accommodate more people but not more traffic. If we want to avoid Bristol sprawling into the greenbelt, we need to improve quality of life in the city centre and build homes for new residents without increasing traffic problems.
- Bristol can learn from European cities such as Groningen and Copenhagen, our twin city of Bordeaux and from British cities such as York, Oxford and Birmingham which have, in different ways, revitalised their city centres by creating new pedestrian areas, diverting through traffic and reserving direct through routes for pedestrians, bicycles and public transport.
7 Steps to a Better City Centre:
- Create a living heart in Bristol’s central areas by creating new public space, open to everyone, for walking,working, outdoor recreation and children’s play.
- This space can be created by diverting through traffic and limiting on-street parking. Vehicle access for all can be maintained on an ‘in and out’ basis, favouring disabled drivers and essential vehicles. Some areas should be fully pedestrianised, others should allow for limited vehicular access.
- Improve the safety and pedestrian ‘feel’ of the central areas by reducing speeds on streets open to motor traffic.
- Provide reasonable levels of off-road car parking and secure parking for bicycles.
- Reserve direct convenient routes through the central areas in all directions for pedestrians, bicycles and public transport.
- Improve pedestrian and cycling links across the major roads which form a ‘concrete collar’ around the central areas of the city.
- Plan for carfree development on appropriate sites in the central areas.
Bristol Cycling Campaign, Bristol CTC, Bristol Green Capital, Bristol Living Streets, Carfree Bristol, Friends of the Earth, Golow, Bristol Ramblers Group, Streets Alive, Sustrans, Transition Bristol, Playing Out, Transport for Greater Bristol Alliance, Transition Montpelier , Healthy City Group of the Bristol Partnership