St Mark's Road traders threaten council with legal action

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image captionSt Mark's Road in Easton has attracted worldwide fame with its grand Iftar celebrations

Traders on a Bristol shopping street claim the council has "failed in its legal duty" to consult residents about pedestrianisation plans.

In a letter to Bristol City Council, the St Mark's Road community group say the council's survey end date was "unrealistic" due to Covid-19.

"At the moment, it's a rushed situation," said Abdul Malik from Pak Butchers.

Bristol City Council said it was "not committed to any one idea."

St Mark's Road is one of 13 roads in the city earmarked for works to improve walking or cycling.

Bristol City Council says it must submit proposals to the government's Active Travel Fund by the end of March otherwise it risks losing the money to pay for it.

'Failed in their duty'

The St Mark's traders set up a community kiosk with a computer to help local residents to respond to Bristol Council's survey on 29 December, but that was closed after a week because of lockdown.

Their letter to the council says "IT support is critical for many if they are to complete the survey."

"Lack of English as a first language...disproportionately impacts BAME (black and minority ethnic) residents.

"The Council has failed in their legal duty toward their citizens, and we will be seeking legal advice on challenging the continued ignorance in this regard," it added.

Mr Malik said local traders had worked on alternate ideas with students from the University of the West of England (UWE) that they want implemented instead.

Kye Dudd, cabinet member for transport, said Bristol City Council is "keen for any change to benefit the community as a whole."

"Once we have studied all the responses from the engagement period we will come back to local traders and groups to start a co-design process on a possible improvement scheme," he said.

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