THORNBURY - High Street Experimental Traffic Order - STATUTORY NOTICE

Background: why are we making changes? 

The council’s priority is to help protect residents against coronavirus and save lives.We have a duty to support residents, businesses and visitors return to make our public places safer and we have introduced a number of measures in high streets, in our parks and open spaces, outside schools, at public transport stops and at pinch points on busy commuter routes.  

On 9 May 2020 the Department for Transport issued statutory guidance of the reallocation of road space to encourage cycling and walking and enable social distancing. Measures need to be taken quickly given the urgent need to change travel habits before the ‘restart’ following lockdown takes full effect. At the time of this consultation’s launch we are still required to practise ‘social-distancing’ and the expectation is that this will continue for the foreseeable future. 

As non-essential shops continue to reopen, more people  are using our high streets and there is a need for more space on footways . Shops, restaurants and cafes may need to trade outside immediately in front of their premises and have space for customers to queue outside if necessary. We also need to provide extra space for people to get around safely and be able to maintain social distancing, whether on foot or by bike.  The lockdown response to the Covid-19 pandemic has led to people using vehicles less and taking daily exercise more; we saw traffic reduce to the same level as it was in the 1950s and cycling in some locations is double pre-Covid-19 levels. We now have a unique opportunity to keep the benefits of active travel, reduced air pollution and reduced carbon emissions. 

Many people will be returning to Thornbury for leisure, shopping and work and we want to make sure they can do so safely. We have an opportunity to make a positive difference to Thornbury High Street and we are keen to hear your views of how best to make it happen. 

What temporary changes have we made?  

We are trialling pedestrianisation of the high street to enable safe social distancing and to open opportunities for outside seating areas for pubs, cafes and restaurants as well as future events to create a vibrant and safe shopping destination.

South Gloucestershire Council put in place a Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice to close Thornbury High Street to traffic from Sunday 7 June. This was done using temporary traffic management (barriers, cones and signs) with support from a security company to ensure pedestrian safety. This immediately enabled pedestrians to use the road and footway to socially distance when walking and queuing.  

We will continue the pedestrianisation of Thornbury High Street using an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) and start a six-month public consultation on whether these or other changes should be made permanent. We want to hear from different groups to tell us how these changes affect them and how they want the high street to work in the future.

Changes in place under the ETRO:

  • Vehicle access to off-street premises and loading restricted to the area of the high street between Chapel Street and The Close. 
  • Southbound one-way system for motor vehicle loading and access to off-street premises on the high street between the junction with Castle Court and the junction with The Close.
  • South bound bus stop relocation to Rock Street with a new shelter.
  • Pedestrian and cycle zone along Thornbury High Street between Castle Court and Chapel Street.
  • Diversion of traffic via The Plain, Rock Street and Midland Way.
  • 20mph speed limit on Castle Court, The Close, the high Street and part of Chapel Street.
  • No parking in the pedestrian and cycle zone (including waiting, drop-off and pick-up)
  • Introduction of parking for blue badge holders at each end of the scheme.


Future Possibilities

The temporary pedestrianisation gives the opportunity to enhance the character of the High Street. For example it could be used all year round to create a safe, vibrant environment for shopping, social activities and events, attracting visitors and increasing trade for local businesses. We would like to hear your views about the future of Thornbury High Street. Some possible ideas could be:

  • Seasonal use of open, pedestrianised space such as Christmas, craft or farmers' markets
  • Eating and drinking outdoors with food stalls or night markets
  • More attractive green spaces e.g. more flowers or trees, street art or small places for children to play
  • Festivals, performances, exhibitions
  • Other improvements such as improved paving or cycle parking - we are keen to hear your suggestions


How to find out more

  • Plan of the proposed changes
  • Statement of reasons
  • Download the consultation document
  • An initial Equality Impact Assessment has been prepared that considers the overall impact of the council’s Place Response on protected characteristic groups (a copy can be provided on request). As a result of that assessment an Accessibility Features Checklist has been developed to be used by all future schemes and the completed checklist for the Thornbury scheme is available here
  • An easy read version of the accessibility features checklist will be available shortly


How to have your say

A public consultation will be open for six months (until 31 January 2021) and anyone can make comments, submit support, objections or suggestions. The council will consider all submissions during the trial before deciding on whether to make the changes permanent. Please note the consultation will remain open for one more week, until Sunday 7th February 2021.

We will be getting in touch with local groups between August 2020 and January 2021 to hear their feedback. If you would like to arrange a session with council officers for your group, and we have not contacted you in the next few weeks, please do get in touch

Whilst we will be doing our best to fully engage with the public during this consultation there are some criteria which must be met for formal responses to the ETRO:

  • Comments must be sent to us in writing after the measures are in place, and should preferably be submitted using the online questionnaire which will be available on the consultation page until 31 January 2021 (although email and letter responses will also be accepted) Please note the consultation will remain open for one more week, until Sunday 7th February 2021.
  • Respondents who wish to formally submit an objection will need to state on what grounds they object to the measures being put in place indefinitely.
  • It is possible to submit multiple pieces of feedback in support or objecting over the six months; for this reason, we ask those who formally comment to provide both their name and address so that only the most recent submission is taken into account  for decision making purposes.
  • Please note that all specific representations received may be considered in public by the council and that the substance of any representation together with the name and address of the person making it could become available for public inspection. However for general consultation responses, you do not have to provide identifying details and the content of general responses will remain fully anonymous and confidential; it is up to you to decide whether to provide an anonymous and confidential consultation response or a formal objection to the ETRO.
  • Respond to our online survey
  • Paper copies of the consultation survey can be downloaded or requested over the telephone and plans can be viewed at the Patchway One Stop Shop by appointment.
  • Telephone:  01454868000 
  • For written submissions by other methods please Quote reference L3/DFA/STOP/PT.6609

 Email us  

Write to:  
South Gloucestershire Council, Corporate Consultation Team 
Council Offices,Badminton Road, Yate 

This consultation has now closed and we are analysing the results.


  • Opened
    21 Jul 2020 at 15:00
  • Closed
    7 Feb 2021 at 23:59

Consultation Documents


Consultation Topic
  • Local economy & business issues
  • Local highways and transportation projects
  • Planning policy & strategy
  • Regeneration issues
  • Transportation planning & policy
Geographical area
  • Thornbury
Marking a consultation as relevant to a particular audience indicates that it may be of special relevance to people within that group. It doesn't, however, mean that other groups wont find the consultation of interest - we welcome responses from everybody.
For example, education issues may be of particular interest to Parents & Guardians, and so will be shown to people searching the system for parenting issues, but the views of others (eg: Business, Faith Groups) are also relevant.
Target Audience
  • Town and Parish Councils
Contact Details

If you have any questions regarding the scheme, please contact:

South Gloucestershire Council,
Department for Environment and Community Services,
PO Box 1954,
Design and Operations Team,
BS37 0DD

Tel: 01454 868004
Fax: 01454 863757