» Music protest planned over road changes
FUNK music will be blared next to council offices in protest at the closure of Cheltenham’s Boots Corner.
The event will be held outside Cheltenham Borough Council’s Municipal Offices in the Promenade at noon on Friday, November 2.
The campaign’s Facebook page says 49 people are ‘going’ and 395 are ‘interested’ in attending.
It was organised by 37 Cheltenham Deliveroo drivers who say they have struggled to navigate the area since Boots Corner shut to general through traffic in June.
The protest’s leader is Rob Chandler, 30, who said: “We will be making some noise outside the council offices.
“I will play music from the soundsystem in my van and people are welcome to bring instruments along and make some noise.
“We will probably do some chants. We are there to play ‘positive vibes’ music. It won’t be heavy metal.
“I don’t know the names of songs but we will be playing funk and funky house music to get people dancing in the street. It will be a peaceful day of resistance.”
The event will centre on the Promenade but could involve a march to Boots Corner, Mr Chandler said.
He says drivers have been unable to deliver food from restaurants including Holee Cow, Yo Sushi and KFC since the route’s trial closure.
Deliveroo now has to use cyclists to collect from those businesses, he said.
“We applied for delivery drivers to get permits from the council but that was unsuccessful, so we have tried to do it the nice way,” he said.
Mr Chandler, from near Evesham, added that he has racked up £180 in fines for breaching the traffic order “as an act of defiance” in July.
“It’s a massive scam and it’s out-andout daylight robbery,” he said.
He also hit out at the “ridiculous” levels of traffic and pollution in Rodney Road, Ambrose Street and St George’s Street.
A police spokesman said: “The organiser of the protest has informed us that this is happening and is contact with a designated police liaison officer.
“We are not concerned about the event at this stage and will remain in regular contact with the organiser.”
Borough councillor Andrew Mckinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, says: “We welcome people’s views on the scheme.
“We’d like to remind people that this is a trial which will be reviewed following formal procedures.
“The scheme is going very well, lots more people are using the high street and people are clearly enjoying the space around Boots Corner.
“People are now moving freely across a road that was dominated by vehicles, and we’re starting to get some solid evidence to support this.
“It would be a major backwards step to reverse the scheme and allow vehicles to once again own the space.”
Deliveroo was approached for comment.
I will play music from the soundsystem in my van and people are welcome to bring instruments along and make some noise.
Rob Chandler near Boots Corner