Town centre redesign being explored by Stratford Town Council
A COMPLETE transformation of Bridge Street and High Street is being explored by Stratford Town Council, with a new study expected to present concept designs in the summer.
The significant changes to two of the town centre’s busiest shopping streets are intended to improve access for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles – and include a 20mph speed limit.
Although the detailed plans have yet to be completed, likely changes include widened pavements in Bridge Street and a redesign of the Bridge Street roundabout to give pedestrians more space.
In High Street, the council is looking into whether a six-month temporary closure to all traffic between 11am and 4pm – excluding emergency vehicles, taxis and blue badge holders – is possible.
Such a move would completely prioritise pedestrians, while the days of speeding traffic in the town centre would be over with the proposed 20mph limit.
Consultants PJA are expecting to complete concept designs by June. They will then be presented to the Town Centre Strategic Partnership, of which the town council is part. If the plans are deemed feasible, the public will be invited to submit feedback.
The ideas being worked on have not emerged from nowhere: they form part of the Stratford neighbourhood plan, which was unanimously endorsed by 91 per cent of Stratford voters in 2018.
However, the commissioning of a feasibility study and the promise of concept designs move the ideas in the plan a significant step towards becoming a reality.
PJA technical director David Moores told the Herald: “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 strategic partnership, 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.”
She added: “We look forward to seeing the design and we will continue to update the public on any further developments.”