Plans for Shrewsbury’s northern gateway to go on display
Shrewsbury residents and visitors can give their views on plans to enhance the town’s ‘northern gateway’, when they go on display for the first time next week.
The proposals include a variety of measures for the area around Shrewsbury railway station and the Chester Street gyratory system.
Key proposals include landscaping and lighting, plus new pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities, wider pavements, relocation of bus stops, changes to on-street parking and upgraded traffic signals.
Detailed plans can be seen at a public exhibition at the Gateway Centre on Wednesday 21 March 2012 (10am to 6pm) and Thursday 22 March 2012 (10am to 9.30pm) where Shropshire Council officers will be available to answer questions.
The consultation plans will then be available to view until 23 April 2012 at Shirehall, Shrewsbury Library and The Guildhall, and will also be on the Cycle Shrewsbury website.
Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for transport, said:
“These proposals aim to greatly improve this area of Shrewsbury and make it quicker, easier and safer to travel in and out of the town centre, whether you are walking, cycling, driving or catching the bus. Please take a look at the proposals and tell us what you think.”
Andrew Bannerman, Shropshire Councillor for Quarry and Coton Hill, said:
“This has been one of the most difficult entrances to the town centre and the council’s officers and advisers have worked hard to produce these proposals. This is a chance to take a look at them and give your opinion.
“More and more people are now accessing the town centre by cycle or on foot, and this is reflected in the proposals. At the same time, drivers and buses should find the proposed new layout helpful, and The Gateway should also benefit. So, I hope this will get public approval, but all comments will be carefully considered.”
The Northern Gateway Enhancement Scheme aims to:
- Create a more welcoming environment for this area
- Put in crossings to make it safer for people to cross the roads
- Provide more space for walking and cycling to make it easier for people to walk and cycle into the town centre
- Reduce delays to local and long distance bus services
- Cut congestion (particularly on Coton Hill) by managing traffic flows.
Shropshire Council has been successful in securing grant funding towards this project including: Growth Point funding (from Department of Communities and Local Government); Local Sustainable Transport Fund funding (from Department for Transport); and Connect2 funding (from Big Lottery fund).
1. Growth Point
This scheme is part funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government through the Shrewsbury Growth Point programme. Shrewsbury was awarded Growth Point status in 2006, and given £6m for infrastructure projects and essential studies to support sustainable growth in the historic town of Shrewsbury.
Within the overall Shrewsbury Vision, there is a comprehensive vision for the northern corridor; to create a vibrant and distinct corridor that can act as a prime gateway into Shrewsbury, whilst supporting and fulfilling the local needs to promote a sustainable community. A key part of the corridor is the Chester Street gyratory system, and the Railway Station.
2. Local Sustainable Transport Fund
In July 2011 the Department for Transport announced that it will award Shropshire Council £4.99 million. The money must be spent over the period 2011-15 on sustainable transport measures which meet the objectives of supporting and boosting the local economy, and cutting carbon emissions.
The Shropshire Sustainable Transport Project is targeted on Ludlow, Oswestry and Shrewsbury and includes measures to bring about changes in travel behaviour and greater use of more sustainable transport such as walking, cycling and public transport, and better traffic management.
This scheme is also part funded by the Big Lottery. Shrewsbury is one of 79 places across the UK which has been chosen to receive Connect2 funding from Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity. Sustrans’ Connect2 is funded by a £50 million Big Lottery Fund grant after the UK public voted the scheme the winner of The People’s Millions Lottery contest in December 2007.
The focus of Connect2 in Shrewsbury is a riverside promenade along Smithfield Road and a pedestrian/cycle crossing at Welsh Bridge, linking the traffic-free route through The Quarry to the bus and railway stations.