Views are being sought on ideas to make two roads in Stratford town centre more pedestrian and cyclist friendly.
Stratford Town Council and Warwickshire County Council have been working with the Town Centre Strategic Partnership on what Bridge Street and High Street could look like in the future, building on ideas set out in Stratford’s Neighbourhood Plan.
And residents, business owners and visitors are being urged to share their views on the proposed changes via an online consultation open from today, Thursday to June 5 at: https://ask.warwickshire.gov.uk/The aim is to improve the look and feel of the town centre and make it easier and safer for people to move around on foot or bicycle, as well as benefiting bus users. After last year’s bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund was not successful, the county council says there is not money in place for the work but it is hopes there will be future opportunities to bid again for funding.
The proposed changes to the town centre are:
1. Closing High Street to traffic daily between 11am and 4pm and widening the pavements on both sides of the street.
2. Creating a wide central walkway on Bridge Street to provide more space for pedestrians and a better connection between Henley Street and Waterside, using space created by narrowing the road, removing parking and relocating the taxi ranks to Union Street.
3. Changing the shape of the Bridge Street / High Street roundabout to improve movement between Henley Street and High Street and a new pedestrian crossing through the centre of the roundabout will be provided to connect Henley Street to the central walkway.
4. Creating more opportunities for pedestrians to safely cross the road. New courtesy crossings will be provided where drivers are expected to give way to pedestrians, and narrower roads, reduced kerb heights, lower vehicle speeds and less traffic will make it easier for pedestrians to cross in other locations.
5. Retaining the temporary 20mph speed limit introduced in 2020 to support social distancing as part of the response to Covid-19.
6. Providing more attractive surfaces and some planting.
Bit the council stresses these plans are not set in stone and people can share their thoughts on them through the online survey and a number of events.
1. Friday, April 1, 9am-4pm, public drop-in session at the Friday Market, Rother Street, Stratford
2. Saturday, April 2, 10am-4pm, public drop-in session at Stratford Town Hall Sheep Street.
3. Monday, April 4, 1pm-7pm, public drop-in session at Stratford Town Hall Sheep Street.
4. Wednesday, April 6, 7pm- 8pm, online public drop-in session via Microsoft Teams
Cllr Wallace Redford, the county council's portfolio holder for transport and planning said: “Our vision is to create a town centre which is full of life and meets the needs of the local community, businesses and visitors, while befitting the town’s global status. If successful, the proposals would reduce the current dominance of motor vehicles and give greater priority and space to pedestrians and cyclists, encouraging active travel and improving air quality.”
Sarah Summers, Stratford Town Clerk and a member of the Town Centre Strategic Partnership, said: “I want to reiterate that we are keen to hear as many views from the public as possible - so if you are someone who lives, works in, or visits Stratford, please have your say and take part in the consultation.”
Geraldine Collinge, director of Creative Placemaking and Public Programmes at the RSC and chair of the Town Centre Strategic Partnership said: “The partnership is made up of several key organisations and stakeholders working collaboratively to improve Stratford for the future.
“The ideas in development for Bridge Street and High Street are particularly exciting, drawing on the historic Middle Row which used to sit in the centre of Bridge Street, delivering an improved experience for residents and visitors alike and connecting Henley Street to the riverside.”
To find out more about the project and share your views on the proposals, visit: https://ask.warwickshire.gov.uk/The council asks for online feedback but if you would prefer a paper form, call 01926 410410.