How to solve Boots Corner Meeting’s search for ‘solution’
APUBLIC meeting will be held in a bid to find a “solution” to the Boots Corner debate. Cheltenham Borough Council voted on January 21, by a majority of 14, against having a public meeting on the trial closure of the town centre route.
But St Paul’s Residents’ Association has arranged for one to be held at 6.30pm on April 8.
Cheltenham’s Tory MP Alex Chalk will appear on a panel at the event, which will take place at St Paul’s Church in St Paul’s Road.
A total of 250 tickets are available for the meeting.
The council debate on January 21 saw councillors vote against reopening Boots Corner, as had been called for in a petition launched by Mr Chalk and signed by nearly 6,000 people.
Councillors voted against a public meeting and approved an extension of the trial until late 2019, as boos, hisses and calls for resignations rang out from the public gallery.
Councillor Jonny Brownsteen (LD, St Paul’s) said he feared a public meeting could lead “the same people who were shouting and swearing” to “do it all over again”.
SPRA has organised the April meeting in the hope it will lead to “a whole town solution”.
The association, in a statement, said the “traffic finds its way” approach has not worked and a “radical” fix may be needed.
SPRA called for those who attend to show respect, in a warning against “shouting at each other, calling each other names”.
The group said it is in the process of finalising the panel, but confirmed Mr Chalk will appear.
The public are encouraged to ask questions and should email any to Bootscornermeet[email protected] by April 4.
Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite and some will be available on the door. There is no entry charge.
At the end of the meeting, tea and coffee will be served.
A spokeswoman for Cheltenham Borough Council said: “This is a St Paul’s Residents’ Association meeting and we would encourage people to join in discussions about the transport plan and give their comments and feedback on the scheme.
“For comments to be taken into consideration, they must be submitted on the portal on GCC’S website gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp-phase4.”
Meanwhile, visible changes are not likely to be implemented at Boots Corner until after the National Hunt Festival.
Gloucestershire County Council has announced measures planned for the area around the town centre route, including two-way traffic in Clarence Street and traffic calming measures on Rodney Road.
Asked when these will be brought in, a spokesman said: “We are currently working on detailed designs for the amended traffic regulation orders and additional traffic calming measures for Phase 4 of the Cheltenham Transport Plan.
“At the moment any visible highways changes are likely to take place in the Spring after the Gold Cup festival.”
Rodney Road will see traffic calming measures introduced and Two-way traffic is to be introduced in part of the area near Boots Corner.
A revised concept, which Cheltenham Borough Council says will soon be illustrated in a visual plan, will see the start of the trial area moved to a point in Clarence Street between Post Office Lane and Imperial Circus.
This change will mean Clarence Parade and the western end of Clarence Street will be opened to all vehicles with two-way traffic flow.
The Pittville Street to North Street corridor will be covered by a 24-hour prohibition of driving order, with exemptions for buses, taxis and private hire vehicles with service access between 6pm and 10am.
Included in the changes will be additional blue badge parking bays in Winchcombe Street. [email protected]plc.com
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A view around Boots Corner and High Street