An independent business has spoken out after the council announced plans to permanently close the city centre road outside its doors to vehicles.

Gallery 21, a family-run independent at 20 Queen Street, says that closing the road, even temporarily, “massively” affects their business.

The closure would affect how customers collect their purchases from the contemporary gallery, which sells fine art pieces, as well as the delivery of large items.

Wiltshire Council announced this week that it is considering permanently closing Queen Street, the street next to Guildhall Square, to vehicles.

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Closing the street would allow pedestrians to walk safely along the road at all times, the council says.

However, the plans may adversely affect businesses.

Trevor Horswell, the gallery’s Retail Operations Manager, said: “We sell large, heavy, expensive items, and our clients just cannot park outside and pick anything up when the road is closed to vehicles. It’s an ongoing issue.”

He added that larger deliveries for exhibitions require drivers to park in a loading bay and deal with carrying 30 to 40 large, high value paintings through city centre traffic.

He said the issue hits home more for the independents on the street, rather than businesses where managers are running shops on behalf of a chain.

The road is currently closed every day from 10am to 4pm, and is regularly unavailable for longer periods due to events being held in the square.

If approved, the closure would mean that buses, taxis and vehicles loading or unloading would be prohibited on Queen Street at all times, leaving the road clear for pedestrians and cyclists, as the road is part of the Route 45 of the National Cycle Network.

Deliveries to homes and businesses on the street would have to take place from Milford Street, Blue Boar Row, or Winchester Street, or, in the case of businesses, through Cross Keys shopping centre.

The plan is subject to public consultation. Once responses have been reviewed, any permanent closure of the road would begin in spring 2022.

The council encourages anyone who has any comments on the plans to have their say through the Traffic Regulation Order process, open from January 20 until February 14, at

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