20th August 2020

Statement re: Social Distancing Scheme

With the Social Distancing Scheme now underway, the Town Council has released the following statement to address some of the feedback received so far;

Wiltshire Council have implemented this scheme in partnership with the Town Council, as they have in other towns in the county, with the aim of enabling pedestrians to safely socially distance while walking around the town. 

The scheme has been designed by Wiltshire Council traffic engineers, in order to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 between pedestrians on the town’s very narrow pavements.  We are assured that all elements of the scheme will be fully in place within the next 10-days, including providing safety barriers and safe cycling routes. 

As with any significant change in traffic flow, it is expected that there be will be some initial congestion and confusion for some commuters passing through the centre, as motorists adjust to the change. 

This is a temporary system and will be amended within its duration to address any issues identified or to improve the working of the scheme.  The scheme is being monitored and we are taking a record of comments, both positive and negative, to pass back for Wiltshire Council’s consideration.  

While some journeys by car are unavoidable, please do consider using an alternative method of transport for short cross-town journeys.  If you do need to make a car journey and find yourself queuing, please consider switching your engine off to reduce emissions 

Although the scheme incorporates a partial one-way system, this is solely to provide for adequate walkways for pedestrians to keep social distance in the very centre of the town. Iis not a trial of any permanent one-way scheme. However, it does give an opportunity to measure other impacts, such as air quality and traffic flow which may influence any future town-wide schemes. 

In addition to the above statement Cllr Sarah Gibson, (Town Councillor and Wiltshire Unitary Councillor) said: 

“This is an important scheme for Bradford on Avon giving space to pedestrians in the town centre and a good example of collaboration between the Town Council and Wiltshire Council.  The real data we will be able to obtain from monitoring air quality, vehicles speeds and numbers as well as pedestrian movement over the next few months will be invaluable for the future.”

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Highways said:

“This morning traffic lights were installed on the Town Bridge and a new one-way system has been implemented on Market Street and Silver Street as part of a joint project between Bradford on Avon Town Council and Wiltshire Council to improve social distancing.
The traffic lights and bollards on the Town Bridge have created more space for pedestrians, enabling better social distancing, but we recognise that the traffic lights have created queues for motorists. We are monitoring the situation and will be discussing the impact of the scheme, particularly the traffic lights, with Bradford on Avon Town Council next week and agreeing any adjustments that need to be made.”

Comments about the new one-way system and the traffic lights can be emailed to integrated.transport@wiltshire.gov.uk

To find out more about the details of the Social Distancing scheme, please refer to our previous article: https://bradfordonavontowncouncil.gov.uk/social-distancing-scheme-implementation/