Community's new vision for Old Market
A NEW vision for Old Market designed by the people that live and work there has been revealed.
The Old Market Community Association submitted their view of what should be done to improve traffic problems in the area to Bristol City Council's cabinet last night.
They say the road layout in West Street needs to be changed to improve safety for pedestrians – with changes to the bus island in the middle of the street top of the agenda.
Ward councillor Brenda Hugill presented the idea in behalf of the association.
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She said: "Old Market has many problems – over 30 per cent of its shops are vacant, it suffers from a poor perception and it is failing to provide basic sustainable amenities for its community.
"However, our greatest concern is the traffic system. The first crucial element is to reconfigure the central island bus stops in Old Market Street. The design and counterintuitive flow of the traffic through these islands has already caused many serious pedestrian injuries and we need to prevent more casualties or even fatalities."
The plans came out of a three-day workshop and the group has already discussed them with the cabinet councillor for transport, Tim Kent.
Mrs Hugill said the association wanted to build on the assets the area already had but needed to find funding to carry out the work identified.
The plan was also backed by Tony Dyer, of campaign group Bristol Living Streets.
He said: "In recent years there have been various proposals by the city council to regenerate the area.
"The residential population doubled in the last decade from under 2,000 in 2001 to almost 4,000 last year.
"A considerable portion of the credit for these nascent green shoots of regeneration must lie in the efforts made by the local community in working with the council and the business community to encourage suitable development.
"However the problem of traffic levels remain as a blight on their aspirations and will have a major impact as to whether this regeneration will be sustained.
"There is a tremendous opportunity to repair previous mistakes and errors, which, however well intentioned, have nevertheless failed to provide this historic part of Bristol with the quality of environment it needs."