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People Friendly Streets Salisbury

Find out more about #PeopleFriendlySalisbury

Our exciting and ambitious plan to prioritise walking and cycling in the centre of Salisbury will see several streets in the centre of the city prioritised for walkers and cyclists between certain times of the day.

Please see the designs and FAQs below, and then tell us your views in the online survey. The survey closes at 3pm on Thursday 13 August 2020.

FAQs


People Friendly Salisbury is an exciting and ambitious plan to prioritise walking and cycling in the centre of Salisbury. The project will see several streets in the centre of the city prioritised for walkers and cyclists between certain times of the day, with motorised access to these areas for certain vehicles only, including emergency vehicles, buses, taxis and tourist coaches, by removing through traffic without significantly inconveniencing residents and businesses.

The scheme is subject to an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), which allows for changes to be made throughout the life of the project, so feedback from residents, businesses and local groups is encouraged throughout the 18 months period of the ETRO. We can then make changes to the project based on this feedback to ensure it is bringing benefits for local people and businesses.

You will find more details about the project on this page.

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The Salisbury Transport Strategy, Climate Emergency, Air Quality Strategy and in particular the Central Area Framework all call for an improvement to the walking and cycling environment in the centre of Salisbury, but this first requires a reduction in traffic. Since June 2019, we have been looking at what physical projects could facilitate this, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need and provided the opportunity to accelerate this work to enable social distancing in the city and give people confidence to come into the city and visit shops and businesses. The scheme will also improve air quality in the city, and encourage people to walk and cycle in the city, improving their health.

To inform the project, traffic surveys were undertaken in September 2019, enabling us to better understand traffic flow within and through the city centre. The surveys used number plate recognition software, which anonymised the data, to track vehicle journeys through the city centre, and found that: 

  • 50% of vehicles in Salisbury city centre were through traffic.
  • Vehicles were cutting through Salisbury city centre to avoid using the A36. Especially between Exeter Street, Churchfields and St Pauls.
  • These vehicle trips won’t directly add to the local economy, only to our air pollution and congestion and made our streets less people friendly.

Data from similar schemes has also shown that people-friendly streets improve the numbers of visitors to businesses. For example, in Ghent, Belgium, there has been has been a 17% increase in restaurant and bar start-ups, and the number of empty shops has been arrested; while closer to home at Stoke-on-Trent, the pedestrian-friendly project has increased visits by 30%.

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Central Area Framework (CAF)

The concept of People Friendly Salisbury was included in the Salisbury Central Area Framework (CAF) consultation, which took place in 2019. That consultation found that “Salisbury is a wonderful place to live, visit and work”, and one of its key themes was People Friendly Streets, which is defined as making the central area a better place for people to move around safely and comfortably in an environment with reduced noise and air pollution, and prioritised cycling, walking and public transport. 

The CAF states that this requires a number of supporting projects, including: 

  • Better utilisation of park and ride facilities
  • Consolidating car parking
  • Defining a street hierarchy 
  • Improving the public realm
  • Improving walking and cycle routes

People Friendly Salisbury will help to achieve some of these, but as shown by the traffic survey data, the traffic in the city is currently too high to enable People Friendly Streets to be implemented.

Also as part of the CAF consultation, respondents were asked “Which users of the city centre should be prioritised in any regeneration initiatives?” The responses were as follows:

  • Pedestrians: 50%
  • Public transport: 25%
  • Cyclists: 22%
  • Private cars 3%

They were also asked “Please rate the statement: the council should prioritise walking and cycling over cars.” The responses were:

  • Strongly agree: 48%
  • Agree: 23%
  • Neither: 18%
  • Disagree: 6%
  • Strongly disagree: 5%

Salisbury Transport Strategy (STS)

The Salisbury Transport Strategy (STS), refreshed in 2018, set out several measures which support the CAF’s transport-related aims. A key recommendation of the STS was to improve pedestrian facilities and pedestrian priority in the city centre, with bus routes to be maintained. To facilitate and make space for this pedestrian priority, it was recommended that the council develop a hierarchy of routes that restricts traffic movement in the city. 

Transport surveys

We undertook traffic surveys in September 2019, to enable us to better understand traffic flow within and through the city centre. The surveys used number plate recognition software, which anonymised the data, to track vehicle journeys through the city centre. The survey found that:

  • 54% of journeys in the city centre were spending less than 15 minutes in the city centre. This through traffic won’t directly add to the local economy, only to our air pollution and congestion and made our streets less people friendly.
  • Vehicles were cutting through Salisbury city centre to avoid using the A36. Especially between Exeter Street, Churchfields and St Pauls.

To resolve this, we are planning to remove the ability for most traffic to cut through the city from one side to another. We will achieve this by splitting the city into a number of sectors; most traffic will then not be able to drive between sectors unless it uses the A36. Of course, some traffic needs to drive between sectors, and you can find out more about permitted vehicles in these FAQs.

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An ETRO is a legal document that establishes traffic and parking restrictions, similar to a standard Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). The difference with an ETRO, and what makes it ‘experimental’, is that it can be made after a short notice period with no statutory consultation ahead of its implementation and amended during its duration.

ETROs can run for a maximum period of 18 months, during which time, statutory consultation responses are collected. Once the scheme starts, we will have more details on how you can submit these responses to suggest changes to the scheme. In the meantime, you can find out more here.

During the initial months of the ETRO period, changes can be made to address any issues identified or to improve the working of the scheme. The scheme must be in place unaltered for six months before it can be made permanent.

At the end of the ETRO period, the council will take into account the feedback received throughout the life of the ETRO and work with partners, before making a decision on whether to make any of the changes permanent, or to revert the streets back to the way they were.

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You can see the designs for the plan on this page. We’d love to hear your feedback on the plans. Please complete our survey.

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The first phase of the project, to begin in autumn 2020, will see most of the scheme implemented, except for the proposed restriction on Mill Road/Crane Street/New Street and access to Central Car Park from Fisherton Street. These two sections will be closely monitored throughout phase one to measure their usage and the flow of traffic.

In spring/summer 2021, depending on the outcome of this monitoring and feedback from the public and businesses, phase two will be implemented. This would see a restriction on Crane Street to stop non-essential access to Churchfields industrial estate, improving the pedestrian link between the city centre and the cathedral; and the closure of the Fisherton Street access to Central Car Park, reducing traffic along Fisherton Street.

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Highways England (which operates the A36) has been very supportive of the scheme proposal and we are working closely with Highways England to develop suitable monitoring and contingency plans.

While some through traffic will inevitably be displaced back onto the A36, as with many roads, flows on the A36 are currently down on their pre-COVID levels, particularly in the peak morning and evening periods.

In addition to using existing sensors, we will make use of the advanced monitoring technology provided by Vivacity Labs to monitor traffic flows and movements on the A36. This will enable us to monitor impacts on the A36 effectively in real-time and through an agreed contingency plan, make any appropriate and phased changes to the scheme/ETRO which can then be further monitored.

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You can see the streets (or part of) identified as closed to unauthorised traffic. This will be achieved through ‘bus gates’, which allow some exempted vehicles through, with cameras as support for enforcement.

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You can see where the bus gates will be positioned on the map on this page.

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We’re confident that this scheme will benefit businesses and improve the number of visitors to the city, as similar schemes around the county have. For example, pedestrian improvements in Coventry and Bristol showed a 25% increase in visitors on Saturdays and predicted £1.4m benefits in each city. While in Altrincham, investment in the public realm reduced shop vacancy rates by 22.1% and increased visitors by 25%. Find out more at Living Streets.  

However, we acknowledge that more could be done to build on the opportunity and benefits of the People Friendly Salisbury project by re-allocating road space within the low traffic area for other uses, such as wider footways, cycle parking, planters, pocket parks/seating, and events spaces. We will work with local stakeholders such as Salisbury City Council and the Salisbury BID to explore these possibilities.

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There are areas in the Salisbury Air Quality Management Area, in the centre of the city, that are exceeding air quality targets, and as a result pose a risk to public health. Our Air Quality Strategy calls for reduced use of private cars and increased use of active and public transport.

There are several nitrogen dioxide monitoring locations in Salisbury city centre, and during the COVID-19 lockdown period, these stations measured a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide compared to the same period in 2019. We are confident that the People Friendly Salisbury project will also bring significant benefits to the air quality in the city centre, and we will be monitoring and reporting on this. Find out more at Wiltshire Air Quality.  


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The scheme is subject to an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) and as such is due to last up to 18 months from when it is formally started. If the scheme is a success, there will be the opportunity to make it permanent, based on feedback from the public, businesses, and local stakeholders. You can find out more in the ETRO section of these FAQs.

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We will monitor the success of the scheme using advanced camera and analytical technology from a company called Vivacity Labs, which use machine learning to identify pedestrians and vehicle types and count them. This data will be anonymised but will include:

  • Pedestrian, cycling and traffic movements at key locations in the city e.g. Blue Boar row 
  • Traffic counts along the A36
  • The volume of through traffic in Salisbury 
  • Effectiveness of social distancing

We will give regular updates of the progress of the scheme. All monitored data will be anonymous.

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As well as cyclists and pedestrians, the following vehicles will be able to drive through the bus gates:

  • Emergency vehicles.
  • Buses and coaches will be able to follow their existing routes.
  • Residents can access their property, but they may have to take a different route, and they cannot travel across the People Friendly area.
  • Taxis will be able to access the city centre, and existing taxi rank provision will not be reduced.
  • Loading and unloading will be permitted, although vehicles over 7.5t will be excluded between 10am and 4pm. The number of loading bays will not be reduced.
  • Disabled parking will remain as it is for the start of the scheme, and Blue Badge Holders will be able to access on-street disabled parking bays in the city centre.
  • Pay a Display on-street parking in the city centre vehicle restricted area will be removed – users will be re-directed to off-street car parks.
  • On-street resident permit parking will remain as existing.
  • Access to private off-street parking will be retained.
  • Existing public off-street car parks will remain open with existing parking restrictions. However, access may be restricted to particular route/entry points.
  • Access for over-height vehicles to Churchfields will be retained along New Street/Crane Street.
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We will use enforcement cameras at each of the bus gates and, where appropriate, will issue Penalty Charge Notices to unauthorised vehicles that pass through the bus gates.

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The bus gates will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Only authorised vehicles are able to drive through the bus gates at any time.

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Residents, businesses and visitors can make deliveries and load/unload as normal. However, vehicles over 7.5t will be excluded between 10am and 4pm every day. All loading bays will remain as they are now.

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Access to Churchfields will be as now, with over height vehicles using the current route through New Street and Crane Street.

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Yes, all residents can access their properties, though some may have to take a different route, and they cannot drive through the People Friendly area. To park, all on-street resident permit parking will remain as it is now. However, pay and display on-street parking spaces in the city centre vehicle restricted area will be removed.

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Blue Badge holders will be able to access the bus gates and will be able to use the existing Blue Badge parking spaces in the city.

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This scheme will affect parking in the following ways, as you can see in the plans.

  • Disabled parking will remain as it is for the start of the scheme, and Blue Badge Holders will be able to access on-street disabled parking bays in the city centre.
  • Pay and Display on-street parking in the city centre vehicle restricted area will be removed – users will be re-directed to off-street car parks.
  • On-street resident permit parking will remain as existing.
  • Access to private off-street parking will be retained.
  • Existing public off-street car parks will remain open with existing parking restrictions. However, access may be restricted to particular route/entry points.
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No, bus stop locations won’t change at this stage. Buses still have access to these streets, so you will still be able to access buses.

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During the life of the scheme, further measures may be considered, including:

  • Minor updates to bus/coach routing with agreement from operators.
  • Review of the location of taxi ranks.
  • Review of location of loading bays and further time restrictions on loading activities in the city centre.
  • Review of location of disabled bays, and capacity to ensure appropriate access.
  • Review of public off-street parking provision.
  • Opportunities to re-allocate road space in the vehicle restricted area of the city centre for other uses, such as wider footways, cycle parking, planters, pocket parks/seating, and events spaces.
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We’d love to hear your feedback on the plans. Please complete our survey.

Comments will be open until 3pm on Thursday 13 August, and after that we will analyse the feedback and consider any necessary changes to the initial designs, before looking to implement the project in the autumn.

The scheme will also be subject to an Experiential Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), which is used to trial schemes that may be made permanent and allows for changes to be made throughout the life of the project. Feedback from residents, businesses and local groups will be encouraged throughout the 18 months of the ETRO. The council can then make changes to the project based on this feedback to ensure it is bringing benefits for local people and businesses. 

The concept of People Friendly Salisbury has already been subject to consultation, as part of the Salisbury Central Area Framework (CAF) consultation, which took place in 2019, and the Salisbury Transport Strategy (STS) refresh, in 2018.

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Last updated: 3 August 2020 | Last reviewed: 3 August 2020