9 Oct 2010

What would make Stroud an even greater town?

A group led by the Stroud Chamber of Commerce and Trade, have got together to identify 7 ways in which we think Stroud town centre could be made even more attractive. They are asking folk to prioritise their top three or add another.

Well I added the need to build on our green strengths - there is lots we can do.......here are ideas submitted by others already in a previous survey....being the first High Street to have all LED lighting or green energy tariffs or PV on key buildings to encourage and support more micro-generation......there is much we could do.....of course going back to the Chamber's list...more Independent Shops also featured in my list.......also years upon years ago I wrote a couple of papers about improving streets - see here. See survey here: www.grcc.org.uk/snap/stroudchamber.html

SAG Launch!

One issue that has come up this week is the campaign launch of Stroud Against Gyratory (SAG) in protest at County Council plans for the new Merrywalks road system. This follows the announcement that the temporary Wallbridge diversion will be kept open once the new Merrywalks Bridge is complete (see pic above). SAG believes this announcement spells difficulty for anyone wishing to enter Stroud’s historic town centre on foot or by bike, and would lead to a dangerous gyratory system clogged with cars.

Well I also think it will scare away more visitors - already I talk to folk who wont drive into Stroud due to the lack of signage and failures to understand the road and parking. This issue does need addressing. In my view this additional road will look terrible and remove the chance to make a safer entrance for pedestrians and cyclists.

SAG had a demo on Thursday afternoon outside The Bell Hotel. Rachel Lyons, SAG founder said: "We are calling for less roads but more access. With the new Merrywalks Bridge and canal there is a once in a generation opportunity to create a beautiful entrance into Stroud whether on foot, by bike or by car. However, local decision makers are once again going for the simple option of more roads – under the misguided assumption that this will lead to more footfall in Stroud - rather than thinking creatively about how the thousands of people who live locally in Rodborough, Cainscross, Bath Road and Merrywalks can access the centre safely and in style.”

While the Green party's Sarah Lunnon, County Councillor for Stroud East said: “Traffic has been flowing with just two lanes of traffic – there is clearly no need to increase this to five. Indeed, the idea of creating four lanes of traffic over the bridge and also keeping the temporary road contradicts the draft Local Transport Plan 3, out for consultation, which aims to reduce the severance of Stroud Town Centre created by the current road layout. Stroud has a chance to get this right, and we need your support.”

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