Salisbury's controversial low traffic zone will be halted "indefinitely" at the end of the month, after weeks of passionate rowing.

Although city council leadership and businesses mostly turned against the so-called 'People Friendly Streets' scheme, at least for now, the measures to reduce traffic in the city centre also had many vocal supporters.

At the Journal we have been overwhelmed with views into our inboxes, from both sides of the debate.

Here are two letters which sum up the opposing views, both strongly held:

'Someone has at last seen sense'

I feel I really must respond to the removal of the People Friendly Scheme in Salisbury.

Hoorah, someone has at last seen sense. Firstly it was the wrong time to bring in such a scheme into Salisbury - just before Christmas and in a lockdown, ridiculous. Secondly the City Centre is dying, Salisbury is dying. You only have to look at the number of shops closed, and not due to the pandemic either, and to reduce footfall even more is disastrous.

What is the solution? Well, one idea - bring back control of Salisbury from Wiltshire Council and re-ignite Salisbury District Council. WC do not know what Salisbury is like, they haven't a clue. What gives them the right to dictate what we should be doing when they are the other side of the Salisbury Plain? 

Another idea - please can a bypass be considered again? WC go on about public health and safety. Having a bypass will stop the congestion that occurs (sometimes because of an accident somewhere around Salisbury) on the ring road, let through traffic through (especially lorries) and allow those who want to come to Salisbury easier access instead of being in a queue for half hour to get to a car park, including the park and rides.

The death knell of Salisbury started when the Market Place was revamped and the car parking removed along with the removal of the disabled parking outside the Guildhall. The market is in decline because their lorries are not allowed to park next to their stalls which must make life difficult and a smaller market means less people. The market used to be a thriving, busy, vibrant institution, not now.

I used to love Salisbury, when working in the city centre it was great to buy a lunch and sit in The Close or walk around the shops. It has changed so much and certainly not for the better.

Let the people of Salisbury decide what should happen in their City, not people who live in the north of the county.

Jenny Gee


'Salisbury will be the poorer'

I am dismayed by the decision to suspend People Friendly Salisbury from the end of this month.

WC’s statement that “The decision follows a meeting with Salisbury City Council where they refused to confirm support for the scheme moving forwards” is perplexing as I heard SCC’s Full Council meeting on Monday 16th November and this matter was not put to the vote.   Indeed it was clear that, if it had been, support for People Friendly Salisbury would in all likelihood have been carried since the opposition parties together with a number of Conservative City Councillors supported the scheme.

It seems that the newly elected leader and her deputy felt able to take this crucial decision on behalf of the City without the backing of the Council, and doubtless in full knowledge that such backing would not be forthcoming.

The funding for this scheme could now be lost – including the complementary measures such as the refurbishment of Culver Street car park, an e-bicycle hire scheme, money for Shopmobility, wayfinding and more.  It is hard to envisage that we will be given this sort of opportunity for investment in our City again, given the resistance that has been demonstrated to all things that involve change and progress.

Of course there could have been improvements in consultation and implementation but more time was required to monitor the full range of economic, social and environmental benefits: the ETRO could have run for up to 18 months to allow this.  Our leaders have failed to allow proper evaluation of the scheme, and Salisbury will be the poorer for this decision for a long time to come.

Margaret Willmot