Crowd blocks traffic with coffin in protest over pedestrianisation of Bristol street

Pedestrianisation of Princess Victoria Street
Protestors closed off the street and embarked on a short march around the village. Credit: Conor Gogarty

Around one hundred people have gathered to protest against the pedestrianisation of Princess Victoria Street in Bristol, blocking traffic with a coffin.

Councillor Paula O'Rourke confirmed that a section of the street in Clifton Village would be closed to general traffic in an 18-month experimental traffic order.

Protestors placed a coffin that was labelled the 'Death of Democracy' in the road in reference to how the high street economy would suffer if the planned changes went ahead.

The trial is expected to start in July.

The protestors went on a short march around the village before returning to the street. Credit: Conor Gogarty

A number of residents and businesses owners are against the proposed changes, saying it will have a detrimental impact, but councillors had said that most residents were in favour of the potential pedestrianisation.

The group embarked on a short march around Clifton village before returning to Princess Victoria Street at around 11am on Tuesday.

Mark Smith, manager of Titcombe Bespoke Jewellery, in the area said that: "I am opposed to the idea because I believe that it is dangerous. There is nowhere for lorries to turnaround.

"I am not against the pedestrianisation of parts of the village but I am against the current plans - they are dangerous."

One man appeared to counter-protest the group, saying that the time to "rearrange the deck chairs is over".

"I understand there needs to be a discussion - we need to take cars off the road if Bristol is to hit the carbon targets it has set," said James Ward.

"We need to be transitioning t journeys on foot and by public transport and pedestrianisation is the first step to do that. We need radical changes and we need to try."

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