A COUNCIL-backed scheme to close one of Chipping Sodbury’s artery routes has been dropped following widespread concerns.

Businesses on Hatters Lane were astonished by the proposal, raised by South Gloucestershire Council in September last year, to shut part of the road to traffic.

But residents of the lane, which links Chipping Sodbury High Street with the town’s bypass St John’s Way, had welcomed the idea which they said would help ease traffic problems outside of their homes.

However, the council has now abandoned the plans after 80 per cent of respondents to a public consultation were against the closure.

A spokesman said: "Due to the high number of objections the scheme was referred to the executive member. He decided that the scheme could still proceed to formal advertisement if there was sufficient member support.

"However, following circulation of the report to area forum members no such support was received, so, due to lack of support, the scheme has effectively been abandoned."

Businesses, many of them garages, said the closure would have disastrous consequences and argued there were more pressing traffic problems in other areas of Chipping Sodbury, including on Hounds Road. Alan Jarrett, who runs Jarrett Brothers MOT and Service Centre, said: "We are very pleased that the council has come to its senses.

"I don’t think they realised how strong the feelings about this were but it has now come to a successful conclusion. I think this is good news for the local businesses and residents of the Gorlands Road area and it is a bit of a relief for us, especially in this day and age."

In total, the council received 100 responses from the 12-week consultation with 18 people in favour of the scheme and 82 against. Residents who had hoped the closure would go ahead said it would have put a stop to Hatters Lane being used as a rat run.

Carole Edwards, of Hatters Lane, said: "Hatters Lane was not designed to take the level of traffic that now use it as a ‘rat run’ to the High Street.

"The minor inconvenience it will cause the drivers from Gorlands Road and St John's Way is a small price to pay for the increased safety of pedestrians and residents."