Have your say on permanent Cotham Hill changes

Community asked over longer-term transport changes.

Plans to make increased pedestrian access and business space available on Cotham Hill permanent are being put before Bristol’s citizens for their views over the next month.

Local people and businesses will be invited to offer their opinions on the proposals as part of the Cotham Hill Permanent Scheme Consultation, which would see changes that were brought in on a temporary basis in April of this year remain in place. The consultation will run between Monday, 25 October and Tuesday, 30 November 2021.

Initial engagement with citizens and businesses on Cotham Hill by Bristol City Council last November revealed that providing more space for pedestrians and outdoor traders was a high priority for those living and working in the area.

As a result, a temporary road closure to through traffic between Whiteladies Gate and Hampton Lane, and between Hampton Park and Abbotsford Road on Cotham Hill was introduced in April. This is just one of a number of roads in the city under review in a bid to create more liveable neighbourhoods free from traffic and congestion, minimise rat running and maximise community enjoyment of busy high streets.

As well as improved pedestrian access, Cotham Hill has also benefited from increased space for businesses and residents for loading and deliveries, as well as giving hospitality businesses the opportunity to provide outdoor seating and preventing the road from being used as a through route.

The consultation will ask for views on different options, including some that will make the road closures permanent, keep shared space for people walking and cycling in the middle, and provide space for businesses to continue trading outdoors on both sides of the road.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said:

“Since last summer we have delivered a package of transport upgrades to make it easier for the people of Bristol to get around and created more space for pedestrian and cyclists. I am pleased that we have done the same for Cotham Hill.

“When we engaged with residents and local traders earlier this year, they made it clear that they saw the temporary road closure as a priority. Since the road closure in April residents have had more access to walking and cycling, and local hospitality businesses have benefited from outdoor trading.

“We now want to engage with the community on plans for making this scheme permanent. Our aim is to deliver more liveable neighbourhoods right across the city that are free from traffic congestion and pollution.”

Cllr Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We are pleased that we have supported businesses and boosted our local economy as a result of this temporary road closure since April.

“Pedestrians and cyclists have been enjoying using the outdoor shared space and we want people living and working in Cotham to continue to have this access.

“We want to hear residents and local traders views on making the Cotham Hill road closure scheme permanent and encourage local people to take part in our consultation before it closes at the end of November.”

Local trader Dan Williams, owner of Coffee and Beer, said: “This road closure has allowed us to open and trade since April using outdoor space. The scheme is helping to cement Cotham Hill as an independent, destination high street where people now have access to more space for a stroll, or to browse and support the variety of great businesses in a cleaner environment.’’

Bravas owners Kieran and Imogen Waite said: “The road closure helps address local concerns about safety and speeding traffic. As this has been a successful trial, we encourage local traders and residents to take part in the survey to help turn this scheme into a more permanent solution for local businesses, residents and the road.”

Find more information on this scheme and take part in the survey.