Thornbury’s Liberal Democrat town councillors have defended their response to the changes made to the high street.

The town council has come in for criticism from residents, despite it being South Gloucestershire Council's (SGC) decision to pedestrianise the road.

A recent meeting saw residents vote that they had no confidence in either body.

The local Lib Dems have said in response that they were taken 'completely by surprise at the decision to close the road to traffic in June 2020 and were 'angry' they had not been asked by SGC in advance.

However, the group now says they can see some benefits of the scheme and are 'working to make the best of it'.

In a statement they said: "We were told that this was a temporary experiment to provide better social distancing for shoppers because of Covid, and that the people of Thornbury would then be invited to have their say.

"Most of us were prepared to accept it on that basis – we could see some benefits of a traffic-free area, but were concerned about the impact it would have on the businesses in the town centre.

The councillors claim they wrote to SGC regarding the traffic problems on Rock Street and suggested this be investigated before a final decision was made.

"Since then, they have made it clear that whilst this decision is final and irrevocable, they are prepared to discuss the details of how the scheme might work," the statement continued.

"We have therefore been working with South Gloucestershire officers to make the make the best of it.

"The net result is that whilst it is closed as a thoroughfare, you can still drive up the high street if you have business in the high street.

"For instance, you can drop off donations at the charity shops, or pick up food from the takeaways, and there will be disabled parking spaces for Blue Badge holders.

"They have also started to look at the traffic flows around the town centre.

"Thornbury High Street is NOT closed! We are working to create a safe, pedestrian-friendly space that can be shared by shoppers, walkers, cyclists and a limited number of vehicles."