16th June 2021

Update on COVID-19 Social Distancing Traffic Scheme

Many residents are keen to understand what is likely to replace the temporary Covid-19 Social Distancing Traffic Scheme.

The current Social Distancing Scheme, involving a one-way system, was put in place for 12 months in August 2020 under a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO).  Its purpose was to enable social distancing in the town centre during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Cllr Mark McClelland, has announced that when social distancing ends, the rationale for the scheme will no longer exist but that Wiltshire Council will…

“…examine the data, consult local stakeholders, and then decide on next steps”.

The full statement from Cllr McClelland can be read at: https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/update-boa-social-distancing-scheme.

This was a temporary scheme and there is not, and never has been, a means by which it could be automatically converted into a permanent arrangement.   Any proposed permanent scheme must follow a separate process.

Wiltshire Council, which is responsible for roads, is obliged to consult on a proposal, prepare designs and, if a project is agreed, undertake work to move drains, access to wiring, pipes and other underground equipment and services.

Mayor of Bradford on Avon, Cllr Sarah Gibson says:

“I welcome any willingness from Wiltshire Council to work with the town constructively on the way forward, but we do not want to see a rushed consultation ahead of the August 17th expiry date for the temporary scheme.  This could lead to an imposed long-term scheme which may not be in the best interests of the whole town.”

The Town Council is aware of a range of views on the temporary system and has agreed to lead its own consultation on options for the future in the Autumn of this year.

Cllr Gibson added:

“The current scheme has made walking around the town centre easier and safer in some respects.  It has also made driving through the town more convenient for many residents and improved traffic pressures on some roads such as Trowbridge Road.
However, these benefits have come at a considerable cost for people living in the New Road/Springfield/Holt Road/Mount Pleasant/Lower Woolley Street area who have experienced extremely high traffic volumes even through lockdown.
We want to find a solution that brings the greatest benefit and the least disadvantage for our residents and our community as a whole.”

For more detailed information on this matter, visit our new Covid-19 Social Distancing Traffic Scheme Update page at: https://bradfordonavontowncouncil.gov.uk/covid-19-social-distancing-traffic-scheme-update/