Walking and cycling to be prioritised on Poole Quay and Lower High Street to support social distancing

Posted on Friday 19 June 2020

BCP Council is creating enhanced space for walking and cycling on a section of Poole Quay and Lower High Street, enabling residents and workers to socially distance more easily as people return to open spaces. 

From next week (27 June 2020) restricted access will be in place for cars and buses along Poole Quay between the junction with Thames Street (by the Custom House), down to the roundabout at the end of Old Orchard, and along Lower High Street from the junction with Castle Street / New Street down to the Quay.

Implemented under an experimental traffic regulation order the changes could be made permanent subject to a decision following public consultation and an assessment of the impacts of the changes.

People living, working and visiting the area are encouraged to have their say on the scheme by taking part in an online survey at bcpcouncil.gov.uk/poolequayconsultation.

Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder responsible for Transport, BCP Council, said: “We need to make sure that there is more space for people in the town centres and local neighbourhoods to walk and cycle, and to support businesses.

“Temporarily removing traffic from part of Poole Quay will help us to understand the benefits of such a measure. Our hope is that it could become a permanent change, but this would only happen after a further open conversation to give all residents, businesses and stakeholders the chance to have their say.

“We want to work with people who live and work in our towns to give them the opportunity to travel more sustainably, enjoying cleaner air and less congested areas.”

With more businesses welcoming shoppers back into town centres the measures at Poole Quay and Lower High Street will help revitalise this area whilst supporting businesses with social distancing measures.

Frankie Reeves, Manager at Lush Spa Poole,said;Pedestrianising the lower end of the High Street is long overdue. Cars and pedestrians come far too close due to areas of very narrow pavements, making for an uncomfortable experience for distracted tourists wandering the area. Furthermore, this can't come soon enough as shops will now need to hold customers outside on these narrow pavements in order to comply with the coronavirus social distancing limits.

“The main street of old town Poole was built with walkers and browsers in mind, not modern-day traffic - this proposal gives it a chance to return to its original charm and function.”

Councillor Hadley added; “It’s been great to see more people walking and cycling and we’ve already received a lot of positive ideas from residents on what they would like to see put in place to support more sustainable travel going forward.

“We are currently looking at opportunities for pop up cycle lanes, and creating more pedestrianised space that could be deployed quickly but safely. This would be in addition to the measures we’re already taking to support bus passengers and the work underway at key locations to create more space for people to physically distance.

“The future will see a significant expansion of active travel infrastructure through the £79million successful Transforming Cites Fund Programme, which enhances key routes for active travel across the area over the next three years.”

A map outlining the plans for Poole Quay including the restricted access is available at bcpcouncil.gov.uk/poolequayconsultation.