The plans for the people friendly city centre, as reported in recent editions of The Salisbury Journal, has certainly been the subject of much debate.

So it is interesting to go back 45 years and a report in the Salisbury Journal under the headline ‘Keeping the traffic out’.

The article stated: “For these new draft proposals there is obviously a long way to go before any implementation can be considered and it must be remembered that something like this was to be expected any year now because of the coming completion of the relief road.”

In 1966, when the original traffic plan was adopted, it was indicated that the completion of the relief road would be followed by the closure of the city centre to all but certain types of traffic – buses, taxis, goods vans etc. It was further indicated that the closure would be so arranged that car traffic would find it either impossible or unprofitable to try to take short cuts across the city – never mind the cost in petrol to motorists.

The local press further reported that “these forecasts appear to be on the way to fulfilment. It is partly reassuring to learn that the public is to be fully consulted, earlier; it is to be hoped, rather than later. Obviously this is a matter that the Chamber of Commerce will need to consider very closely indeed because in economically sensitive times, almost any upset can have grave repercussions on trade. Any scheme of this scale requires thousands spent on it rather than hundreds – what would be useful from the council is an assessment of the effect there may be on car park revenue; this could be considerable.”

The result of The Salisbury Five – Votes For Women will be announced soon. Readers were asked to cast their vote for their favourite of the Salisbury Five - Florence Mildred White, Rosemary Squires. Secret Spitfire Girls, Lady Hulse and Lady Jo Benson.