Fears of Close traffic scheme

A PILOT scheme changing the traffic flow through Salisbury’s Cathedral Close has worried residents, and schools have raised fears about safety if the new system is adopted permanently.

From August 4, the High Street Gate will be closed to traffic in both directions from lunchtime onwards, Monday to Saturday.

In the afternoons, all drivers entering the Close will have to use St Ann’s Gate. The only exit will be via the Harnham Gate into De Vaux Place.

Residents were briefed on the four-week-long pilot on Friday, and some foresee mayhem.

They argue that St Ann’s Gate is currently the only safe pedestrian entrance to the Close.

And vehicles will have to make a sharp turn into it from Exeter Street, which they say will cause chaos when coach loads of tourists are disembarking nearby in St John Street.

There are also fears that lorries and vans will damage the narrow gateway’s stonework.

And once they are in the Close, they will add to the congestion in North Walk, where residents, visitors and delivery drivers all park.

The residents say there could be similar problems in De Vaux Place, with “every likelihood” that traffic would back up into the Close and create gridlock there. Any driver approaching the High Street Gate after lunchtime will have to make a U-turn and go round the one-way system.

The results of the trial will be evaluated before any permanent change is considered.

But critics say that outside term time, any assessment is unrealistic.

The head of Bishop Wordsworth’s, Dr Stuart Smallwood, has expressed fears for pupils doing PE, as St Ann’s Gate is on their running route, and drivers entering from a “busy, complex junction” may simply not see “small boys hurtling in the opposite direction”.

Leaden Hall School and the Cathedral School are also believed to have voiced concerns.

A Cathedral spokesman said the aim was to learn lessons which could increase safety for pedestrians, reducing traffic without affecting access for residents and businesses.

He said: “The High Street gate is especially busy, with lots of road traffic and over 5,000 pedestrians occupying the same space each day, and August is a particularly busy time for pedestrian visitors.”

Using the smaller gate will reduce the number of large vehicles entering the Close, and stop people using it as a short-cut, he added.

It will also stop traffic queuing at the High Street/Crane Street junction.

But the emergency services will still be able to use the High Street Gate.

Wiltshire Council will be putting up temporary traffic signs.

Parking charges will not operate during the trial afternoons.

Comments (7)

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8:17am Thu 17 Jul 14

hillyanne says...

As the song says,"There may be trouble ahead."!
As the song says,"There may be trouble ahead."! hillyanne
  • Score: 8

8:27am Thu 17 Jul 14

Bournemouth Ohec says...

It's a recipe for disaster especially if there is no control over the parking.

Who came up with this idea and why?

Maybe the same genius who arranges for traffic lights in Salisbury to turn red for no reason?
It's a recipe for disaster especially if there is no control over the parking. Who came up with this idea and why? Maybe the same genius who arranges for traffic lights in Salisbury to turn red for no reason? Bournemouth Ohec
  • Score: 15

9:23am Thu 17 Jul 14

Petera says...

Madness, madness!
Madness, madness! Petera
  • Score: 9

10:45am Thu 17 Jul 14

Phil456 says...

I support the proposed scheme. It is worth a trial period as the traffic via the High Street gate is ridiculous at times
I support the proposed scheme. It is worth a trial period as the traffic via the High Street gate is ridiculous at times Phil456
  • Score: -6

11:23am Fri 18 Jul 14

Bournemouth Ohec says...

Phil456 wrote:
I support the proposed scheme. It is worth a trial period as the traffic via the High Street gate is ridiculous at times
So if the traffic is ridiculous at times at the High Street gate, how are things going to improve by creating more two way traffic at the other end?
[quote][p][bold]Phil456[/bold] wrote: I support the proposed scheme. It is worth a trial period as the traffic via the High Street gate is ridiculous at times[/p][/quote]So if the traffic is ridiculous at times at the High Street gate, how are things going to improve by creating more two way traffic at the other end? Bournemouth Ohec
  • Score: 6

2:26pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Grampie says...

The busiest time at the North Gate is when the mums from out of town drop their children off at the private schools in the Close.

Perhaps they should be encouraged to use the Park and Ride.

Make a charge for coming into the close, £5 a time maybe, that would go to the cost of maintaining the Cathedral and that would reduce the amount of traffic.
The busiest time at the North Gate is when the mums from out of town drop their children off at the private schools in the Close. Perhaps they should be encouraged to use the Park and Ride. Make a charge for coming into the close, £5 a time maybe, that would go to the cost of maintaining the Cathedral and that would reduce the amount of traffic. Grampie
  • Score: -1

5:01pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Avers43 says...

I think this is total madness. Large vehicles will hit the archway as the opening will be difficult to negotiate, and as for the safety, what a disaster! I cycle through that gate from St Ann Street for safety in order to avoid the potholes and heavy traffic going into town via Catherine street. Salisbury is unsafe now as pavements are so crowded, people step off without looking, too much heavy traffic,it is a total nightmare. Whoever thought of this has n't considered the hold ups along Exeter St and St John St while vehicles are turning into the Close. A disaster waiting to happen! Does the person who made this suggestion actually live in the town I wonder
I think this is total madness. Large vehicles will hit the archway as the opening will be difficult to negotiate, and as for the safety, what a disaster! I cycle through that gate from St Ann Street for safety in order to avoid the potholes and heavy traffic going into town via Catherine street. Salisbury is unsafe now as pavements are so crowded, people step off without looking, too much heavy traffic,it is a total nightmare. Whoever thought of this has n't considered the hold ups along Exeter St and St John St while vehicles are turning into the Close. A disaster waiting to happen! Does the person who made this suggestion actually live in the town I wonder Avers43
  • Score: 4

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