Update: On 9th June the Council published it’s transport request form enabling residents to feed in suggestions and thoughts on travel and tranport improvements needed. Please do feed in your thoughts here: https://bristol.citizenspace.com/management-of-place/bristol-covid-19-transport-request-form/
As lockdown measures begin to lift, space to socially distance is more important than ever
As more people return to work and children return to school it is more important than ever that we have streets that prioritise pedestrians and cyclists and enable social distancing, Bristol’s Green Councillors have said.
Following months of campaigning alongside pedestrian and cycling groups, Greens have welcomed the Council’s recent announcement that work will soon begin to pedestranise parts of the old the city centre and improve walking and cycling on some roads, including Stokes Croft and the Clifton Triangle. But Greens are calling on the Mayor to roll out plans further and faster to make sure that communities across the whole of the city benefit.
Councillor Eleanor Combley said:
“Wherever we live in Bristol we must be able to walk to the shops or take our children to school without breaking the government’s social distancing rules. This means in many areas we need more space for pedestrians to walk safely. Measures to allow people to queue safely outside shops, pass each other safely on the street and feel safe returning to work by bike instead of by car wherever possible are crucial if we are to slow infection rates and continue to protect our NHS. This is also our chance to build back better, making our streets healthier, safer and more pleasant – returning them to their place as the heart of our communities.”
“As lockdown measures lift we are beginning to see worrying increases in congestion, road accidents and air pollution. We know that people who have to breathe dirty air are more likely to be badly affected by coronavirus so we have to act now if we are going to protect communities across our city.”
Cities across the country and across the world have been taking radical steps to improve their streets for walkers and cyclists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In Bristol commitments so far have been relatively limited and slow by comparison, something Greens would like to see redressed as soon as possible. Following weeks of calls from councillors, the Council will soon be launching a webpage allowing residents and councillors to feed in ideas for where changes are needed, but sadly this comes too late to benefit from the government’s first funding offer.
Councillor Combley continued:
“Local communities know best what changes need to be made on their streets and the streets around their homes. I would encourage everyone to send in their ideas once the council’s webpage is finally up and running. It is a missed opportunity that communities haven’t yet been able to feed in their ideas and potentially benefit from the governments first funding offer. Local communities must be at the centre of suggested improvements going forward.”
“I will continue to support the good work that has been started, and to call for the plans to improve pedestrian and cycling infrastructure to go further and faster. We believe that everyone in Bristol should be able to live on streets that are safe, healthy centres of communities.”