Wiltshire Council has taken the decision to suspend the People Friendly Salisbury scheme indefinitely from the end of this month.
The decision follows a meeting with Salisbury City Council where they refused to confirm support for the scheme moving forwards. Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID). has also recently requested the scheme be suspended.
Given the lack of explicit support from the city council and the Salisbury BID, Wiltshire Council is unable to continue with the scheme at this time.
Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said:
“We are very disappointed and surprised that Salisbury City Council will not offer their continued support for People Friendly Salisbury. The scheme delivers to the objectives of the Central Area Framework for people friendly streets as well as the city council’s climate change ambitions. The city council were pivotal to the scheme being introduced and previously provided clear backing for this important scheme.
“The People Friendly Salisbury initiative was implemented as part of the council’s wider strategy to support Salisbury and was an excellent way to help reduce traffic within the city, improve air quality and give pedestrians priority in the city centre. It was designed to help transform the city, making it a more attractive place to visit, shop and work. Early evidence proves that the scheme is having a positive impact with equal number of shoppers visiting the centre whilst the traffic is halved. As with other such schemes elsewhere in the UK, more time would have been required to see all the economic, social and environmental benefits.
“We know that many residents and businesses are advocates of this initiative and Wiltshire Council remains committed to the scheme. However, unfortunately without the continued support of partners and stakeholders, at this time we cannot continue with People Friendly Salisbury.”