LOCAL councillors have welcomed plans to pedestrianise a street linking Gloucester Road and St Andrew’s Park.
Bristol City Council has earmarked over £200,000 to close Overton Road to cars, which would free up spaces for businesses, pedestrians and cyclists, according to local Labour and Green councillors. The council will consult the public on the changes before any roadworks start taking place.
Similar moves to pedestrianise roads elsewhere in Bristol include one recently announced in Chandos Road in Redland, and successful schemes on Cotham Hill and Princess Victoria Street in Clifton.
Labour Councillor Amirah Cole, representing Ashley ward, said: “Pedestrianising Overton Road, which is perpendicular to Gloucester Road, will make the area a friendlier environment for cyclists and pedestrians and free up space for businesses. The proposals will be subject to consultation, but I know some of the businesses have already been in touch to express their support and I believe local residents will support the plans too.
“With the cost of living crisis and increase in energy prices, Bristol’s businesses are facing a tough time — I hope that by freeing up space for them to apply to install outdoor seating, we will give them a much-needed boost. Closing the road to motor traffic will also make it a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists, encouraging people from St Andrew’s to travel to Gloucester Road and further afield via active travel.”
Closing Overton Road to cars could eventually lead to other similar ideas in the surrounding area, according to Green Cllr Tim Wye, such as installing a contraflow bike lane up North Road. He added that requests for pedestrianisation had been unde rway for a long while.
Cllr Wye, also representing the ward, said: “I am really pleased that the closure of Overton Road looks like it will be going ahead. It’s something that Green councillors in Ashley have been requesting for some time, and while we aware it was ‘in the pipeline’, it would have been good as the local ward councillors to have been notified by the administration that it is now progressing.
“While it is a relatively small change, I think the pedestrianisation will make a significant improvement to walking and cycling and help free up space for local businesses. In December I met with council transport officers to discuss traffic in the area, and this street change could also unlock some other ideas like making the one way North Road safer and possibly being able to complete the long planned cycling contraflow up that road.”
By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Overton Road, which links Gloucester Road with St Andrew’s Park