Public meeting called to debate Thornbury High Street changes

September 02 2021
Public meeting called to debate Thornbury High Street changes

A PUBLIC meeting for Thornbury residents has been called in response to the changes made to the town's High Street.

South Gloucestershire Council's cabinet made a ban on through traffic using the street permanent earlier this year, in the face of strong opposition.

The scheme, to increase space available to pedestrians by reducing the space available to vehicles and making the road access-only, was first introduced during the coronavirus lockdown and has been the subject of petitions and consultations.

Now a meeting has been called under the constitution of the town council so residents can air their views in a public debate.

The meeting is due to take place at the Severnside Suite at Thornbury Leisure Centre, from 7.30pm to 10pm on September 9.

The town council has published an agenda on its website, which shows residents attending will be invited to take part in an open discussion on "the restrictions imposed on the High Street".

It has been called after Clive Washbourne, who raised a petition of 2,000 names against the changes last year, gathered the signatures of ten residents to officially request it.

Clive, who is an ex-traffic police officer, has also been challenging the legality of the orders used to bring in the changes.

He said: "There are a Iot of people who feel that the closure decision has not been democratic.

"The meeting is being called under the constitution of Thornbury Town Council. It wasn't difficult to find people to request it – people are angry about what South Gloucestershire has done."

Clive says he has invited South Gloucestershire Council leader Toby Savage and Thornbury & Yate MP Luke Hall to attend the meeting.

A spokesperson for Mr Savage said that he had an existing commitment on the evening of the meeting.

But South Gloucestershire Council has unveiled a new series of "briefing sessions" on the changes, which will take place three days before the meeting.

A council spokesperson said the sessions atthe Turnberries Community Centre in Bath Road will take place on September 6, between 9.45am and 4.30pm, with each one lasting 15 minutes.

The spokesperson said: "During the sessions, council officers will be on hand to explain the changes and answer any questions.

"We believe these changes will create a thriving town centre for Thornbury, where a people will want to visit and spend time."

Anyone who would like to attend on of the sessions will need to book in advance online at www.eventbrite.com/e/167591756455.

As of today most of the session were fully booked, with only a few tickets remaining.

Picture: South Gloucestershire Council image of Thornbury High Street after changes to reduce space for vehicles are made permanent.