Business leaders raise the pressure over Boots Corner scheme
By Andrew Merrell | 10th September 2018
Those attempting to drive through the trial closure of Boots Corner in Cheltenham might well be wishing there was a quick route out of where the councils currently find themselves.
Cheltenham Borough Council, which is driving the project, and its passenger on the journey, the county council - which happens to be in charge of all things highways - has got little but grief since it began.
If you are a regular on Twitter and LinkedIn you might be forgiven for thinking Boots Corner has become the biggest issue in the town.
The 18-month trial and consultation is only weeks in with missives fired daily in the form of on-line posts and some businesses continuing to plead it is detrimental to their trade. Other that it is simply unsafe.
Chun Kong, founder of the popular Mayflower restaurant, posted two images on his LinkedIn page at the weekend accompanied this caption: "Just another daily occurrence since Boots Corner Closure!
"Does it have to take a fatal accident to happen before both Cheltenham BC & Gloucestershire County Council to take note and to admit this trail is not working!"
Comments from others flooded in as a result. From the short and 'sweet': "Bonkers" was what Richard Levinge, a county businessman and owner of Ease Training, had to say on the matter.
And "Oh my word! Chaos!" from Julie Kent, vice chairman at Pied Piper Appeal and housemistress at Dean Close School.
To "Awful decision! Not only this danger but added traffic and travel times on alternative routes around Cheltenham, particularly at rush hour. What was the purpose of this change?" from Craig Fitchett, director of Price Davis Accountants.
And: "The back streets behind is like a ghost town !!! All the roads go nowhere!! Welcome to Cheltenham as its easier to drive out now and go to Gloucester!!!" from Tracey Cadogan, managing director of Coastal Harbour.
Qing Lin, CEO of Join in China, added: "What a nightmare!!! Something has to be done before it's too late!"
And Adrian Malpass, of GlosBiz, an executive coach and mentor, posted: "What will it take before this crazy decision is reversed? We cannot go on like this."
As for the councils, they are encouraging people to have their say - but would prefer if they sent their comments via the link below.
A spokesperson from Gloucestershire County Council said: "We continue to monitor the trial and a formal consultation process is underway. We would encourage and welcome feedback from as many people as possible on the trial closure of Clarence Street North (Boots Corner)."
Cllr Andrew McKinlay cabinet member for development and safety at the borough, said: "At this stage in the Boots Corner closure trial we are encouraging everyone to feedback their views through the formal Gloucestershire County Council website gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp-phase4 .
"We will also be conducting research into public views once the changes introduced in the trial have settled down. It is intended that a review will be carried out by CBC, GCC and Amey officers in month seven (December 2018) of the experimental period."
dditionally the public can feedback their views by writing to CTP Phase 4, Amey, Block 5, 5th Floor, Shire Hall, Bearland, Gloucester, GL1 2TG. More information about the scheme can be found www.cheltenham.gov.uk/transport-plan
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