28th August 2018

Response to Wiltshire Times article on purported ‘one-way’ system trial

Following on from recent news coverage, Bradford on Avon Town Council would like to confirm that there are currently no plans to conduct a physical trial of a ‘one-way’ system within the town.

The news story, carried on the front page of the Wiltshire Times, reports a discussion at the Highway and Transport committee on August 14th in which one councillor argued in favour of such a trial; a statement was also made that local political figures outside of the Town Council had offered financial support.  Evidence of this has been requested from the councillor concerned by the Chair of the Committee, Leader of the Council Cllr. Dom Newton, the Town Clerk and Wiltshire Councillor Sarah Gibson (BoA South Ward).

No resolution was passed in favour of this proposal, on the basis that analysis of all available evidence is underway and will be completed shortly – and that Wiltshire Council have asked that outcomes, rather than solutions, are proposed by the town.  Further, the Council has been advised that modelling solutions would not require a physical trial, which would entail significant disruption, administration and cost.

In December 2017, the Town Council resolved that the policy outcome for Highways and Transport should be to rebalance the use of our roads to promote the health, well-being and economic viability of the town.  This places pedestrian safety and air quality at the heart of adopted policy.  While a one-way system may play a part in a more complex system solution, which includes significant additional safeguards, this is not council policy.

Leader of the Council and Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee, Cllr. Dom Newton said:

We welcome focus on this issue, as we need to be clear what the town wants – our own survey, conducted in early 2017, showed that residents want to prioritise pedestrian safety; speeding up traffic without further restrictions, which is the natural outcome of a one-way system, won’t do that. 

A problem generational in the making is clearly complex – had there been a silver bullet to the issue, it would have been used decades ago.

At this stage, nothing is ruled in or out – we have done as asked by Wiltshire Council and agreed an outcome that promotes pedestrian safety and well-being, including tackling air quality.  A huge amount of evidence has been being analysed and will be presented in the next few weeks that looks at barriers to that outcome – that, rather than simplistic solutions, will form the basis for forward discussions with Wiltshire Council”.