'Shared space' system in Gloucester is criticised

A system which allows vehicles and pedestrians to mix on a street in Gloucester has been criticised.

The "shared space" system which relies on pedestrians and drivers mutually agreeing to give way to each other was adopted in Southgate Street in May.

A city-based pressure group says there have already been a number of "near accidents" on Southgate Street.

In a statement, Gloucestershire County Council insist motorists in the area are slowing down.

Barry Leach, secretary of the Gloucester City Centre Community Partnership, said it was only a matter of time before someone was seriously injured.

"Drivers are not slowing down and drivers are abusing pedestrians who do attempt to cross the road and share the space," he said.

"There's been several near accidents and one very recently where a buggy was in fact hit by a car.

"Our worst fears are slowly coming into fruition."

In a statement, Gloucestershire County Council said it carried out its own survey in April and May showing the average speed of drivers in the shared space was just over 20 mph.

The council also said more signs would be put up to warn drivers of the shared space concept.

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