Should traffic return to some of Bridgend’s pedestrianised streets?
31 August 2016
Public consultation is underway over proposals that could see traffic return to some of Bridgend town centre’s pedestrianised streets.
Following requests from local businesses and other organisations, Bridgend County Borough Council is asking the public for their views on a proposal to re-introduce traffic to Queen Street, Dunraven Place and Market Street.
As part of the proposal, a 20mph speed zone and two pedestrian crossings would be introduced alongside approximately 18 parking / loading bays, while street bollards and other street furniture would be installed to safely separate pedestrians and vehicles. Adare Street and Caroline Street would remain pedestrianised.
Local residents are being invited to share their views on the proposal by visiting our consultation pages and completing an online survey before the deadline of 24 October 2016.
Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “Pedestrianisation was originally introduced to address a number of problems in Bridgend town centre and to help create a safer, more pleasant shopping environment.
“But between issues such as the rise of the internet and the ongoing recession, shopping patterns are a lot different now and we are keen to do whatever we can to encourage as many people as possible to shop in Bridgend town centre.
“We want to consult with local people and find out their views as the proposal has both pros and cons which need careful consideration.
“For example, reintroducing traffic would make it easier and quicker for some disabled people and those with mobility problems to get to the shops they want to visit, while many town centre traders, property agents and developers believe that it would increase footfall.
“On the negative side, there could be an increased risk to pedestrian safety. Since these roads were pedestrianised, reported traffic collisions have fallen from 13 between the years 2000 and 2004 to three between 2004 and 2014.
“It would also cost the council upwards of £500,000 to safely allow vehicle access into these streets due to the works required, while there is also the issue of cars creating more air pollution in the town centre. Added to this, there would be disruption to trade while the works were taking place.
“These changes can therefore only be justified if there is sufficient support from both town centre businesses, and the wider community of Bridgend who use the town centre. Bridgend Town Council have already pledged their support and a financial contribution to the scheme, but I would urge everyone, businesses, shoppers, workers, residents, young and old, to have their say and consider all of these factors.”
If the proposal is introduced then it will also be possible to include ‘pedestrian only’ times so that the roads are not accessible during certain hours. This approach has been followed in other towns such as Neath, Caldicot and Tenby.
Residents can also have their say on the town centre access proposals by taking part in a special social media Q&A session. The council’s Corporate Director for Communities, Mark Shephard, will be logging on to the local authority’s social media accounts from 6pm to 7:30pm on Thursday 1 September to answer any relations related to Bridgend town centre access.
To submit a question, please visit the council’s social media accounts at www.twitter.com/bridgendcbc or www.facebook.com/bridgendcbc at 6pm on Thursday 1 September. Instructions for how to get involved on Facebook will be posted on the council’s account ahead of the Q&A, while Twitter users can get their questions in early by using the hashtag #BCBCaccess.