I’ve just spoken to the second-in-command at Wiltshire Council, Richard Clewer, about the People Unfriendly signs on the ring road, which have had the effect of driving shoppers away from Salisbury. I gather this has been greatly to the benefit of Romsey’s traders.
He has told me that the signs are being switched off – this may be happening even before you read this – and that he is “not aware” of any plans to replace them.
It is clear that no-one up at Trowbridge foresaw the increase in traffic jams that would occur on the ring road because of the introduction of the experimental partial ban on traffic in some city centre roads.
What’s more, I understand that it has only reduced traffic in the centre by about half.
I think the message is beginning to sink in that if people in Salisbury had been consulted before the scheme was drawn up – how often have we had cause to say that? – the council could have had a more workable plan and a much greater chance of carrying public opinion along with its well-intentioned attempt to improve our air quality.
Or if the signs had said something like: “Welcome to Salisbury. We’re pedestrian-friendly so please use ring road and not city centre roads to access car parks.” With more signage to said car parks dotted around.
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