People Friendly Salisbury, the scheme that will see pedestrians and cyclists prioritised in several city centre streets as a result of restricting through traffic movements, begins today (Wednesday 21 October).
The project will reduce through traffic in the city centre, improving air quality and prioritising pedestrians and cyclists, in turn encouraging an increase in the number of visitors and shoppers in the city.
The scheme creates a Low Traffic Zone (LTZ) in the city, with only some vehicles allowed to access the LTZ with a free permit.
Emergency vehicles, buses and coaches, taxis and bicycles will not require a permit to access the LTZ, but residents and commercial vehicles that are loading and unloading, plus Blue Badge holders, will need to apply for a free permit to access the LTZ. Vehicles over 7.5t are not able to access the LTZ between 10am and 4pm, and outside of these times they will also need a free permit.
Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We’re delighted that People Friendly Salisbury is now operational, so pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy cleaner air and more space to socially distance in the city centre.
“As with all large schemes such as this, we know that People Friendly Salisbury will take some time to settle down, as residents and visitors to the city get used to the new permits system and the restriction of through traffic movements.
“This is a big change for Salisbury, and we want it to be a success, so our approach for the first few weeks is ensuring people have time to understand the system.
“The scheme will improve air quality and prioritise pedestrians and cyclists in the city, making Salisbury city centre a more attractive place to live, work, visit and shop.”
The project, which is scheduled to last for 18 months as a trial, is subject to an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), a legal document that allows the council to collect feedback and make changes to the scheme as appropriate. At the end of the ETRO period, the council will take into account the feedback received throughout the life of the ETRO and make a decision on whether to make any of the changes permanent, or to revert the streets back to the way they were.
The project will be fully monitored, with 47 sensors providing anonymous data on vehicle and pedestrian movements within the LTZ, on the A36 and at other key points in the city.
To help make people aware of the scheme, the council has sent letters to every residence and business in the LTZ, and has also sent letters to around 1,500 Blue Badge holders in the south of the county.
To apply for a free permit, LTZ residents, businesses, and Blue Badge holders should go to www.wanttopark.com/Wiltshire or, for more information, including detailed FAQs, go to www.wiltshire.gov.uk/salisbury-people-friendly-streets.