Clifton’s Princess Victoria Street pedestrianisation changes are set to be made permanent following the results of the Council’s trial, which found an increase in average visitors to the area during the experimental traffic order.
Councillor Katy Grant, one of two Green Councillors in Clifton who backed the scheme, welcomed the news. She said:
“It is great news for the Village that the Princess Victoria Street scheme will be made permanent. We can see that the data collected by the Council supports making it permanent – it shows clearly that levels of walking and cycling have increased and that on average more people are visiting Princess Victoria Street than before. The increased footfall is particularly good news given the uncertain economic times we are living through.
“Despite concerns expressed by traders and others, we are really pleased that the shops which people treasure in Clifton Village remain, despite the many pressures on the high street. Like any scheme, there are some issues people have raised that will need to be addressed going forwards – these will be easier to tackle once the scheme has been made permanent.”
The pedestrianisation of the high street will continue along the same lines it has operated during the trial – the end of the high street will be closed to vehicles between 11am-5pm every day, with exemptions for bikes and emergency vehicles.
Don Alexander, the Council’s Cabinet member for Transport, said:
“I’ve really enjoyed my visits to Princess Victoria Street to see the progress of this project. There’s something wonderful about seeing a venerable old street find new vibrancy and purpose. As we continue towards completion, I hope that residents, traders and visitors will all benefit from improved health and happiness because of the hard work of so many.”
The Council recorded footfall, cyclist and vehicle traffic in Princess Victoria street in before and throughout the period of the trial in order to assess the impact on traffic and visitors in the area. A report on the findings noted an increase in the average numbers of visitors to the street, particularly on weekends, with the average pedestrians per hour during weekdays being largely the same as before the trial. There was also an increase in people visiting and travelling through the area by bike.
The Council’s report summarising the results said “Our data shows that more people are visiting Princess Victoria Street on average, and that neighbouring roads are coping with the modest increase in traffic. Our data also shows that motor traffic levels are down overall in the Clifton Village area.”
Local resident Sue Ottey also welcomed the news, saying:
“I am so glad that the Princess Victoria Street pedestrianisation scheme is to be made permanent. It’s a positive pleasure to visit the shops and cafes without having to look out for cars and vans.”
Clifton Green Councillor Paula O’Rourke said:
“We know that many residents appreciate the pedestrianisation, and feel safer on the road. It is so much more pleasant to visit now cars are not there. Given the push for greater pedestrianisation throughout the city and the vision countrywide for cities with more liveable neighbourhoods, the Princess Victoria Street closure has put Clifton Village ahead of the curve.”
Anth Bruges is a Clifton resident who visited the street recently with her daughter Bea Barrett. Anth said:
“It’s so good being able to have a coffee outside – we often stop off for one when we’re shopping ”
“It looks so much better than it used to – no cars and all the plants and seating – it’s really lovely”