It’s time to spruce up area, say traders

Published on: 04 Feb 2015

cllr michael bellcllr michael bell

A DILIPADATED phone box and a post box sprayed with graffiti are the first targets in a campaign to breathe new life into a Mangotsfield street.

Traders in Stockwell Drive say the decaying items are making the place look untidy and unloved, which in turn increases the likelihood of other problems such as litter and dog mess.

Although the phone box, on the junction of Springfield Avenue, is still in working order, panes of glass are missing and its once bright red paintwork is now faded and peeling.

Inside, it is grubby and rusty and would put most people off from making a call.

The post box, just yards away, doesn’t fare much better with its washed out black and red paintwork and illegal daubings.

Lisa Westcott, who runs nearby Westkuts hair salon with her sister Anna, pictured with cllr Michael Bell said: “It lets the area down.

“I love the fact that it’s a traditional old phone box and it has a lot of history but it would be nice if it could be painted bright red and put back to its original state.”

Lisa said if nothing is done to improve it she would encourage the community to ‘adopt’ it.

“I would look at sponsoring it to become a book exchange or putting hanging baskets there - anything to make it look better.”

Lisa said traders have been doing their bit to ensure the area is kept tidy. When she opened their business in September she and Anna invested a lot of time and money ensuring the shop frontage looked smart and attractive.

“The shutters had graffiti on but after consulting with residents we decided to paint them a lovely old green colour. Because they now look so nice, people haven’t graffited over them again. We’ve also had really positive feedback from residents.”

Traders are being supported by Rodway councillor Michael Bell. He has already written to Royal Mail and BT to urge them to take action.

“We want to tidy up the area and encourage businesses to come here. If you see a shop open, it’s a lot nicer than seeing closed shutters all day.

“I have contacted the heads of schools in the area to ask them to remind pupils to use litter bins. We want people to be proud of where they live.”

Royal Mail has told cllr Bell post boxes are on a rolling five-year painting cycle and has pledged to paint the Stockwell Drive one by March.

BT had originally planned to repair the telephone box in December but due to bad weather had to prioritise urgent repairs. After being contacted by Downend Voice, the company has now pledged to carry out the work as soon as possible.

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