Video (5.30 minutes):
Experience from other cities suggests there may be many different ways to achieve the aims outlined in our declaration. Some cities, like Groningen or our twin city of Bordeaux have taken the ‘big bang’ approach – making a big improvement in one go. Others have done it gradually, step-by-step. Our neighbours in Bath have taken the gradual route and the centre of Bath is now a much better place than it was. This road map shows the traffic management arrangements in Bath City Centre.
Either way can be made to work. For this reason, we have started with a declaration of principles, rather than a specific plan.
Our declaration refers to the area within the inner ringroad as shown on this map:
(click to enlarge in a new window)
This suggestion made by a former Executive member for transport shows an example of the kind of changes which could be made in the area around Broad Quay. Other possibilities could include reserving some of the bridges for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and emergency vehicles only.
Two Important Points to Bear in Mind:
- The inner ringroad shown on the map above already exists. The signposts show this as the route for through traffic at the moment. So these plans do not imply any change to this.
- Our proposals would not stop anyone from driving anywhere they are able to drive at the moment – apart from some small pedestrianised areas which we would like to see within the central area. There are several public car parks in the central area, so people would still be able to drive in, park, and drive out. The only difference for drivers would be the removal of some short-cuts across the city centre.
Wouldn’t this cause traffic gridlock on the inner ringroad?
No – many cities have closed their centres to through traffic and found this helped to improve traffic conditions (see the Evidence Page). There are several reasons for this:
- it makes people think twice about journeys across the city centre – if I live in South Bristol, could I find what I want nearby, rather than driving to Cribbs Causeway, for example?
- it encourages some people to walk, cycle or take public transport rather than drive – this helps to improve traffic conditions elsewhere in the city