Shared space high on traffic summit agenda

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The suggestion was among a wide range of options presented in a report to Stratford Town Council this week by transport consultant David Tucker, who is a member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) transport group.

Mr Tucker told the Herald that his paper on the Stratford district’s transport strategy had been seen and agreed by officials, and councillors at both Stratford District Council and Warwickshire County Council. The councils had also had an input into the document.

The paper will now be submitted to Peter Drew, the planning inspector looking at the district council’s core strategy, when the public examination of the strategy resumes later this year.

The only example of shared space in Stratford at the moment is in Waterside and Southern Lane, which occurred when the streets were given a makeover following the redevelopment of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Henley Street, however, is fully pedestrianised.

“Pedestrianisation all over the country is seen as a rather Draconian system nowadays,” said Mr Tucker.

“The old system, like in Henley Street, is rather brutal because it denies access to everyone apart from excepted vehicles. The whole logic is that traffic does not have priority over pedestrians in shared space. Everyone has to act reasonably so they can work together.”

In his report Mr Tucker identifies three areas where work is already under way or will begin shortly:

– Development of proposals for the A3400 Birmingham Road between the A46 Bishopton roundabout and the town centre

– Exploration of the costs and benefits of a third river crossing/bypass/relief road with associated link roads and improvements to the town centre, including the possible closure of Clopton Bridge to all but pedestrians, cyclists and public transport

– The establishment of a multi-agency group for the A46, recognising the local and strategic importance of this route and the need for major investment in the section between the M40 near Warwick and the M5 near Tewkesbury

Apart from the shared space idea, Mr Tucker said that further options to be explored included. They included:

– A review of car parking policy in Stratford town centre

– Development of new or enhanced local bus services as part of a wider review across south Warwickshire, in conjunction with local bus operators

– A review of rail links and services between Stratford town and the surrounding communities.

– Development of a lorry routing strategy, particularly between Long Marston and Atherstone-on-Stour, and the A46/M40 corridors

Mr Tucker added that he expected the fourth of Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi’s traffic summits to be held shortly.

What do you think of the ideas in Mr Tucker’s report? Send us your views to news@stratford-herald.com

  • Niki81

    Some parts of the town centre aren’t nice to be in because of the traffic. The Greenhill Street/Rother Street junction is probably the worst. There are so many attractive old buildings around here and other locations lost amongst the traffic. It would be good if a way could be found to create a calmer town centre, where the good parts are brought out rather than swamped by traffic. I don’t think the answer is shared spaces.

  • Matt Sumners

    Surely the reinstatement of the railway to the south of the town is long overdue, this is crying out to be rebuilt. It’ll offer those residents south of the river the opportunity for faster & more efficient access to the town, plus better transport access to Oxford & London. Add a park & ride in Long Marston as an option. Equally enhance the towns buses too to run when people want them, as in the evening to get home from being in town. You may then make people realise there are other options other than driving in all the time.

  • Clare

    Is it time to consider a “park and cycle” option. This avoids the waiting for the bus and then queuing in traffic in the bus. Options to park for free and hire a bike (or use your own) could be popular in a flat riverside town. Cycling improves health, reduces congestion and pollution and can be faster than driving if priority cycle routes are offered (see the Dutch examples).

  • The sooner we can get going to improve the traffic the better. The traffic jams get worse and worse. Surely the Mop could be located on the recreation ground rather than closing the whole town ? Recently it took me 45 minutes to get from Waitrose to Timothy’s Bridge Road – under a mile ! What a waste of time and money – all those employees unable to get to work and business vehicles stuck in traffic – not to forget the huge unnecessary carbon emissions. We need a western and eastern bypass around Stratford-upon-Avon asap and duel carriageway for the entire A46 from the M5 to the M40. Plus a direct train link to Birmingham Airport connecting the line at Warwick Parkway to London.