Member Article

Feasibility study into potential redesign of part of Stratford town centre underway

A feasibility study to potentially redesign three key parts of Stratford town centre to create a better balance of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles is now underway.

Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council, working as part of the Town Centre Strategic Partnership (TCSP), has appointed placemaking consultants PJA to look into the best way of transforming Bridge Street, its roundabout with Wood Street, and High Street to improve access and movement in those areas.

While no detailed plans have been formed, the initial ideas are for Bridge Street to have its pavements widened and its carriageway narrowed to encourage more people to pass through, with improved public realm to go with it.

The roundabout at the top of Bridge Street with Wood Street would also be redesigned to create more space for pedestrians.

Additionally, High Street could have a six-month temporary closure to all traffic (except emergency vehicles, taxis and blue badge holders) from 11am to 4pm, completely prioritising pedestrians. A 20mph speed limit to traffic could also be introduced around the whole of the town centre.

Although nothing has been finalised at this stage, having a feasibility study around improving Bridge Street and High Street is part of the Stratford Neighbourhood Plan, which was approved by 91 per cent of Stratford voters in 2018.

The TCSP, made up of various organisations related to Stratford, was formed in 2020 to oversee the implementation of the Neighbourhood Plan.

PJA will now create a more detailed concept design based on the vision in the Neighbourhood Plan, which will then be scrutinised by the TCSP to see if it is feasible. If so, public and stakeholder feedback will be invited on the proposals, hopefully in June.

PJA technical director David Moores, project manager Annabel Keegan and specialist advisor Karl Kropf explained to stakeholders how the design would be created at a Town Centre Strategic Partnership meeting.

David said: “The key thing for us is to strike a balance between creating a space at Bridge Street and High Street that is attractive to pedestrians, allowing traffic flow to continue to a certain extent, and to respect the unique character of Stratford-upon-Avon.

“We want to make sure our proposals are realistically deliverable, so will work closely with various stakeholders such as local authorities, destination management organisations like Shakespeare’s England, and business groups like Stratforward, and listen to their advice when drawing up our design.

“At this stage, we’d like to be advised as much as possible by those who know Stratford-upon-Avon inside-out so we can make a sensitive yet effective design.”

Sarah Summers, Stratford-upon-Avon Town Clerk and a member of the TCSP, said: “It was great to hear from PJA about their plans and how we as a Town Council and our partners have the opportunity at the outset to contribute to the initial design.

“Plenty of those at the meeting were very keen to give advice to PJA on their plans, so their design is certain to be well-informed.

“We look forward to seeing the design, and we will continue to update the public of any further developments of these plans.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .

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