PLANS to pedestrianise Salisbury have been voiced once again, as the city council tabled ideas to make up to half of the city centre vehicle free to improve air quality.

City councillor Sven Hocking told attendees at the Salisbury Community Energy’s AGM on Monday that the council believed making the centre pedestrianised would improve air quality.

Speaking in front of the environmentalists in the Guildhall, Cllr Hocking – who has raised the idea many times before – said: “Air quality can be quite terrible in Salisbury, mainly because there’s buses and cars not going anywhere in the centre.

“I’m a big fan of pedestrianisation and we have a plan for mass pedestrianisation for half of Salisbury.”

The councillor said that the authority would initially look to fully pedestrianise Queen Street to make it vehicle free for 24-hours, rather than currently just allowing taxis, buses and loading vehicles to use it.

He added that other roads which could become pedestrianised in the future include Endless Street, Blue Boar Row, and Winchester Street.

The councillor said: “It’s ambitious but it’s not without its challenges.

“For everyone who thinks it is a fantastic idea there is another who thinks it’s not quite so fantastic.”

It was not revealed when the council would officially table these plans.

Also at the meeting was 17-year-old Katharine Ewing, of Salisbury School Strike for Climate.

Introduced as the city’s answer to Greta Thunberg, the South Wilts Grammar School pupil says she strikes because she is still too young to vote in elections and is terrified by climate change. She said: “This year Salisbury got voted best place to live in the UK, but as the air pollution levels have reached dangerous levels, I have to disagree with that. This is why I strike in Salisbury.

“A place to start would be to lead by example and make Salisbury developments like the new Maltings a bit more carbon neutral.

“These aren’t just targets for 2030, these are targets we need now.”

She added: “Politicians and decision makers are doing nothing, they are purely acting on Brexit. It does terrify me how little time we have.”

At the AGM, the community group also discussed plans to put more solar panels on Salisbury buildings including the cathedral cloisters and Wiltshire College.

They also heard from Wiltshire Council deputy leader Richard Clewer.

He said: “Wiltshire Council will become carbon neutral by 2030 and we will be switching to make sure all our energy comes from renewable sources as of April next year.”

However, when asked if cuts made to public transport will be reversed, he said it was not yet possible to invest more into the area.

He added: “We are doing everything we can to protect our buses and we’d like to do more as financial constraints ease. Central government say it is getting a bit better and it is something we want to be looking at. We are actively discussing.”

As well as this, the city council announced plans to install more water fountains and recycling bins across the city.

Extra recycling bins will be fitted to cut down on waste and street traders are being urged to switch to use more biodegradable products like cutlery and plates.