A study conducted by Sustrans in Bristol investigated how customers travel to two important shopping zones on the city’s VIVALDI project bus routes. 

The study found that “retailers overestimated the importance of car-borne trade by almost 100%; they
estimated that 41% of their customers arrived by car, whereas only 22% had done so. In fact, more than half of shoppers walked to the shops.” 

Sustrans suggests that retailers overestimate the usage of cars and that after conducting interviews with traders, shoppers and neighbours, local people would like to see the impact of travel reduced. Walking to local shops and meeting friends and acquaintances is an enjoyable social activity, as well as an efficient, environmentally-friendly method of shopping.

Shopping within an environment free from noise, pollution and the threat of motor traffic is an experience that every pedestrian enjoys, and it’s great to see that urban developments across major cities are conducting studies such as these and acknowledging the importance of zones with reduced traffic.

Such studies and developments could provide an insight into the Uplands becoming a cleaner and safer zone with reduced traffic. The Uplands sees a lot of recreational usage in the form of parks, cafes and restaurants and could benefit from a more pedestrianised area.

Further reading on the study: Shoppers and how they travel