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More Bristol Streets Set To Be Pedestrianised To Help With Social Distancing

By Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd October 8, 2020

The move will help pedestrians stick to social distancing rules.

We’ve all been there. Trying to force your way through the busy streets of Bristol, only to be rubbing shoulders with others running for the train while frequently getting stuck behind leisurely shoppers, who are enjoying their day at a glacial pace.

Now, in a bid to prevent this from happening during the times of Coronavirus, Bristol City Council has revealed plans to pedestrianise St Stephen Street and St Nicholas Street, ensuring enough space for people to walk within a safe distance from one another.

These two streets will join Clare and Corn Streets in all-day closures, with the exception of a morning loading window for businesses, from Monday 12th October.

On Wednesday 7th October, the council unveiled new art installations in the Old City to celebrate the work which also aims to improve the central environment and air quality of the city.  Inflatable octopus tentacles by Designs In Air currently feature on the Corn Exchange building, and other temporary artworks all by local artists will also appear this month in the Old City part of Bristol.The council announced other transport improvements including new city centre bike lanes and removal of through traffic from key roads like Bristol Bridge. Later this month four new disabled bays will be also added to High Street in the Old City and an additional disabled bay has already been installed on nearby Queen Charlotte Street.

Mayor Marvin Rees unveils new Old City art installations & improvements
Credit: Bristol City Council

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, who was present for the unveiling, said: “It has been an immensely challenging year, but we have moved quickly to try and capture the changes that lockdown brought to our air quality by bringing forward major transport improvements.

“I am delighted to announce that the Old City pedestrianisation will be ready for autumn in the next stage of our vision to transform Bristol’s transport network, creating cleaner air, safer and better public transport, and improved walking and cycling routes.

“By giving less space to traffic and more space to the businesses, visitors and shoppers in this historic area, we also look forward to seeing increased footfall to give the traders a boost amid the tough times we are all facing.

“We are committed to putting people, sustainability and environment at the heart of post-COVID recovery and cleaning up our air in the fastest time possible.”

The Old City road closures are initially being implemented on a temporary basis, with the intention of making these changes permanent in early 2021. The council is monitoring the impacts on the area and city centre as a whole and there will be public consultation before any change is made permanent.

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