RESIDENTS are to vote on controversial changes to Thornbury High Street.

A parish poll was called for at the Annual Town Meeting held by the town council on April 26.

South Gloucestershire Council's election department has since confirmed that the poll on the semi-pedestrianisation of the high street was legally called for using the correct procedure and it will now go ahead on Thursday, May 26.

Residents will be asked to vote on whether they 'want Thornbury High Street returned to its pre-pandemic status of through traffic for all vehicles and timed parking bays on both sides of the carriageway'.

Voters can vote yes or no.

Thornbury Town and District Residents’ Association (TTADRA) is urging everyone to use their vote.

An association spokesman said: “This is the main chance, and perhaps the only one, for the electors of Thornbury to show in a straight vote whether or not they are in agreement with the restoration of our historic High Street to its pre-Covid layout.

"It is vital that everyone takes this chance to voice their opinion."

The changes have been hugely controversial and a protest calling for a u-turn was held recently.  

However, some residents have spoken out in favour of the changes saying they are 'sensible' and that the area is now 'safer and cleaner' for the public.

Thornbury resident Cynthia Davies said: "With the increase in local housing the changes proposed by the council are the sensible choice.

"Shopkeepers who feel traffic volume equates to more sales should factor in the COVID effect and also the general change to online shopping."

A man who has lived in Thornbury for nine years said he is 'heartbroken' to see the extent of 'vociferous opposition' to the plans that he believes will improve Thornbury High Street.

Christopher Griggs-Trevarthen said he believes South Gloucestershire Council should 'shoulder some of the blame' for their engagement with residents but they have 'demonstrated they are prepared to compromise' on the plans.

"I can’t help but wonder how the images of the protest march would have appeared had all the participants been sitting in their cars on the High Street rather than walking down it? It’s certainly not a positive vision for the future of Thornbury," he said.

The result of the vote is not binding on South Gloucestershire Council, which insists the changes benefit the town.

Voting takes place between 4pm and 9pm on May 26.

Polling stations are: 

St Mary’s Church hall, Eastbury Road (BS35 1DR)
The Scout Hut, Park Road (BS35 1HT)
Turnberrie's, Bath Road (BS35 2BB)

Polling cards are not issued for parish polls and postal and proxy votes are not permitted. You must vote in person.