THE Pilot Traffic Scheme at St Ann’s Gate, scheduled to start on Monday is, in our opinion, potentially dangerous to life and as such we are both very much against it.

At the evening meeting of Friday, July 18 held in the Cathedral Refectory, the reason for the need to implement such a scheme was given as the anticipated increase in pedestrian traffic likely at the time of the Magna Carta celebrations. The forecast given, in reply to a question from myself, was 30,000.

The normal published annual figure for visitors to the cathedral is one million so therefore it would seem that this risk is being undertaken on projected three per cent increase.

Neither the ADL (traffic consultancy) survey, as commissioned by the Dean and Chapter, nor the Badingham Traffic Report mention the pedestrian traffic associated with Bishop Wordsworth School both entering and exiting St Ann’s Gate.

Shortly before 4pm, during normal term time, the school releases its pupils via Exeter Street and a high percentage head towards the city centre. Many then enter St Ann’s Gate, a good number of which are juniors who, by definition, are immature and consequently haven’t yet reached their full height.

All are required to wear school uniform, which is dark in colour and hence difficult to pick out against the shadowed background of the gate’s arch. This will in all probability become more extreme in the lower light conditions prevailing in autumn and winter.

A further unrecorded group of pedestrians are the sixth formers of that school.

There appears to be a frequent flow of these pupils as they go to classes and then return from whence they came via a shuttle bus service that operates from St John Street There is no need to repeat in detail the many other objections to the scheme, such as the gate dimensions being so small, the traffic lights not showing a left turn into The Close from Exeter Street nor a straight ahead signal if approaching from St Ann Street thus making such movements illegal, the likely confusion from the irregular timetable, the danger to foreign visitors entering from St John Street, the problems for emergency vehicles after 1pm and so on.

Therefore, we are most definitely opposed to the proposed traffic scheme.

PA and CW Campbell

The Close