Residents and business owners in Thornbury are being invited to learn more about changes being made to the town’s High Street.
Next month we are hosting briefing sessions on the changes, which will assure the long-term health and viability of Thornbury High Street.
The sessions are being held at the Turnberries Community Centre, Bath Road, Thornbury, on Monday 6 September between 9.45am and 4.30pm and on Monday 13 September between 10am and 2pm.
The sessions are being held in 15-minutes slots and anyone who would like attend will need to book a place via Eventbrite
During the sessions, council officers will be on hand to explain the changes and answer any questions.
We kindly request those attending observe social distancing, and we are encouraging staff and visitors to wear face masks.
During periods of restrictions due to Covid-19, the Government instructed and made funding available to adapt town centres and high streets to enable traders to do business and help keep communities safe.
In Thornbury we reallocated space on the High Street normally used by vehicles so that shops could display more produce and serve customers safely. These temporary measures helped many businesses trade safely under the very difficult circumstances and allowed residents to feel safe about returning to the High Street.
While these measures have been in place we have carried out a period of consultation and agreed a future vision for the High Street that supports local traders, makes improvements to the public realm and supports changes in how people shop.
We have listened to your feedback and the High Street will not be fully pedestrianised, but will have a one-way system to allow vehicle access for deliveries, as well as customer pick-ups and drop-offs.
Other improvements include a speed reduction to 20mph, the installation of extra benches and bike racks, new ramps to improve accessibility and disabled parking bays.
We believe these changes will create a thriving town centre for Thornbury, where people will want to visit and spend time. Stopping through-traffic and encouraging active travel, with improved cycling and walking facilities, will help improve air quality and reduce the impact of air pollution on the health of people living and working in the area.
Experimental traffic orders, in place for some of the measures, expire in January 2022. To implement our vision permanent orders are required. There will be a Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) period of public consultation from 1 September 2021. You will be able to have your say on the TROs from this date by visiting our website www.southglos.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/consultations.
South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Local Place, Councillor Rachael Hunt, said: “Thornbury High Street is at the heart of the town and our vision is to help that heart beat more easily, to maintain access for traders and those with mobility issues of course, but to encourage more people to walk and cycle there and to spend more time enjoying the unique surroundings of the town centre.
“Many business owners and visitors have told us that reducing traffic has made the area much more pleasant to spend time in, but we want to hear from local people now about the best way to make the changes permanent, so we can all see the high street come back from the disruption of the pandemic in a strong way that will ensure it thrives into the future.”