9 Jul 2011

Stroud against the gyratory

BBC pic of new bridge under construction
There has been much debate in the local papers about the approach to Stroud at Wallbridge - where the new Brewery Bridge is due to open very soon. This point should encourage access into the town and not be a racetrack acting as a dangerous barrier to the future development of Stroud. Greens have long supported the local pressure group, Stroud Against the Gyratory. By closing the temporary road once the new Stroud Brewery Bridge is open, a pleasant public space could be created that would encourage people to slow down and relax rather than pass through.

As County Cllr Sarah Lunnon (Stroud East) said to press in response to the latest suggestions to support keeping both bridges open: "We need to ensure safe access into Stroud, build beautiful places, not scare people away. All over country small towns with big fast roads in the centre just wither and die. I don't want to see that happen to Stroud."

The current set-up is very unpleasant for pedestrians and cyclists, and there doesn't seem to be much improvement once the new bridge is open. I like many others think that if we close the current temporary road and revert to the old system it would greatly improve the experience of entering Stroud. There is also news that a restaurant is to open in July at the old hotel by Cheapside - we could create a wonderful peaceful space that people would be drawn to: would you rather eat a meal and have a coffee looking out over a square and canal or with cars racing past right in front of you? Closing the road can surely only enhance that area -  and bring more jobs.

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