Column by the Thornbury and Yate MP. 

Two weeks ago, I wrote in The Gazette about how South Gloucestershire Council decided against a full pedestrianisation of the High Street, explaining that as the local MP I could not, and the community would not, accept the proposals.

One of the clear issues has been the lack of Blue Badge parking and provision, leaving many disabled residents and those with reduced mobility being left completely unable to access the High Street at all. We could never have accepted this.

I am grateful to everyone who signed my petition, calling on South Gloucestershire Council to alter the plans for Thornbury High Street, and include extra Blue Badge parking along the High Street to ensure every resident in the community have access the High Street. I am extremely grateful to the hundreds of Thornbury residents who signed in support.

It’s good news that the Council have listened to Thornbury residents and agreed to improving on street Blue Badge Parking on the High Street. We will be pushing for these new spaces to be introduced as quickly as possible.

There is more to be done. I am writing to South Gloucestershire Council to make clear that this is not the end of our calls for further assurances for the town. We need to address the traffic concerns along Rock Street, we need to improve access to the High Street, reopen Soapers Lane, we need clear communication with businesses and residents on this issue, and we need to ensure businesses can operate efficiently as we recover from this pandemic.

I understand the strength of feeling on this issue and as our local MP. The Council’s sole focus must be agreeing an outcome for Thornbury which strengthens the High Street’s long-term future whilst making sure we remain a vibrant and accessible town for everyone in South Gloucestershire.