Traffic banned from Bristol roads to boost business as lockdown eases

Barriers in the road outside businesses will give customers more space
Barriers and signs will be in place to ensure reduced cycle speeds in the shared space. Credit: ITV News

Road space usually reserved for parking and driving in Bristol has been opened to cyclists and pedestrians as restrictions ease in the city.

Bristol City Council says the decision will allow for better social distancing, especially in local shopping areas, encourage people to travel by bike or walk and reduce air pollution.

The road closures will also enable businesses to make use of the outdoor space in line with Government guidelines.

From Monday 12 April two sections of the road on Cotham Hill will be closed between Whiteladies Gate and Hampton Lane, and between Hampton Park and Abbotsford Road.

The closed sections will provide outdoor space for traders, pedestrians and cyclists. Space for loading, disabled parking, and drop off/pick up points will be available at each end of the closed area.

Barriers and signs will be in place to ensure reduced cycle speeds in the shared space.

Two parts of the road on Cotham Hill will be closed to traffic allowing hospitality venues to reopen using outdoor seating areas. Credit: ITV News

Traders say they are grateful for the news, and hope it will help make Cotham Hill an independent destination high street. 

Speaking when the closures were announced last month, Dan Williams owner of Coffee and Beer, said: "We are really grateful that the Cotham Hill community will get the road closure many of us have asked for.

"This will allow us to reopen using outdoor space. Without it we would have to remain closed and, after an incredibly difficult year, this could be the difference between our businesses surviving or not.

"We are excited to see some new and old faces soon and hope this temporary closure will be a successful trial to help inform a more permanent strategy for the road."

The council has also pedestrianised parts of the Old City by closing the roads to traffic for specific parts of the day.

At the moment, the closures are temporary but Bristol City Council has said it will monitor the impacts for a potential longer-term scheme.

Restrictions on hospitality eased in England

A change in hospitality restrictions means pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars will now be allowed to host parties of up to six, or of two households, in outdoor areas.

This time there will be no requirement for a substantial meals to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew, but the requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain.

While you won't need to social distance from those you're in attendance with, the two metre rule is still in force for anyone else you may come into contact with while there.

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