How to solve Boots Cor­ner Meet­ing’s search for ‘so­lu­tion’

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By CONOR GOGARTY

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 glouces­ter­”

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]­

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A view around Boots Cor­ner and High Street

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