A CITY CENTRE WALKABOUT

Led by Rae Harris, Pedestrians' Assn. on 9 September 1997

On a sunny evening, Rae led a group of 10 people around some of the changes which had been
made to the city road system and related them to the 1990 TPA Report proposals.
The walk started by inspecting the new pedestrian crossing at Gay St - Queen Square junction
which was considered a great success for walkers and a not unreasonable impediment to motorists.
Several traffic calming measures were visited at George St - Milsom St, Cheap St, and where Union
St crosses Cheap St. These were considered unsatisfactory as they did not slow vehicles sufficiently.
The junction of Bridge St, Pulteney Bridge and Grand Parade is very difficult to cross from the
Podium Approach and requires lights like the new set at Gay St - Queen Square.
Kingsmead Square was considered a successful development and it will be interesting to see how it
can be integrated with Sawclose.
The cycle route from New King St to Beauford Square was viewed and considered to have an
unnecessary set of traffic lights over Charles St; the cycle lane could have used the Monmouth St lights.
At the discussion following the walkabout the following points were made:
1) The emphasis is on controlling vehicular traffic. We strongly support the first principle of the
Heritage & Environment Group's paper which says that a continuous pedestrian network should be the
objective, in contrast to a highway network with pedestrian priority at crossings. The main way of getting
around the city centre is on foot.
2) The presence of very large heavy goods vehicles delivering to stores is unacceptable. Where
pavements are narrow, e.g. on North Parade Bridge, they pass within inches of pedestrians on the
pavements. A weight limit on vehicles in the city is essential for many reasons of which this is one.
3) Pedestrians include people with pushchairs, people in wheelchairs and people who want to walk
side-by-side and pavements should be made wide enough for these users.
4) Now that the Council has adopted a PEDESTRIANS FIRST' strategy it should ensure that the
right approach is adopted in the design of all alterations to the city's roads.
Don Lovell