Member Article

Bid for funding to redesign two key Stratford streets being drawn up

A bid for funding to redesign two key streets in Stratford town centre to create a better balance of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles is being drawn up.

Initial plans to alter Bridge Street and High Street to make them more attractive to pedestrians and cyclists, while reducing vehicle traffic, have been drawn up by placemaking consultants PJA after being instructed by Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council and Warwickshire County Council in association with the Stratford Town Centre Strategic Partnership (TCSP).

The TCSP, made up of various stakeholder organisations in the town, was formed in 2020 to oversee the implementation of the Stratford-upon-Avon Neighbourhood Plan – which was approved by 91 per cent of voters.

Now, the TCSP has instructed PJA to create a costed proposal with a project timeline which will form the basis of a bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund, a fund established to invest in infrastructure that will improve everyday life across the UK.

It is planned the bid for funding will be submitted next month, however the scheme remains at an early stage in its development.

There will be plenty of opportunities for the community to help shape the redevelopment of these important and historic streets and have their say on the proposals through consultation exercises which are planned for later in the year.

At this stage nothing is set in stone, but for the purpose of the funding bid the scheme proposals are being based around the ideas developed for the Stratford-upon-Avon Neighbourhood Plan.

These include narrowing the carriageway on the two streets and widening footways to create more space for pedestrians and landscaping which would create a more sensitive setting for the historic town centre.

The Neighbourhood Plan proposal also included closing High Street to through traffic between 11am and 4pm as well as the introduction of a 20mph speed limit which will also form part of the proposals in the funding bid.

The concept being developed for the funding bid also includes the addition of a central walkway along the centre of Bridge Street where two-way traffic is maintained at all times.

Sarah Summers, Stratford-upon-Avon Town Clerk and a member of the TCSP, said: “We are keen to see Stratford-upon-Avon benefit from government levelling-up funding and we want to bid for money in the first round. We need to apply for funding right now but that certainly does not mean the changes planned for Bridge Street and High Street have been finalised.

“A full public consultation will take place before anything is agreed, with the final design being influenced by what the public tell us.

“We’re confident the changes to Bridge Street and High Street, informed from the public’s views, will improve Stratford-upon-Avon town centre for residents, visitors and businesses, while still respecting our town’s unique history and character.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “The County Council is delighted to be working with Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and other partners on this bid.

“It is important that this is a dynamic application that is guided by the wishes and needs of the town centre community and the people that visit it. So while partners are initially scoping schemes, there will remain a good deal of flexibility.

“However, whatever proposals are decided upon will align with two of the County’s priorities for Stratford and will sit alongside the vision of all of our partners; increased use of pedestrian and cycling facilities to encourage more active travel, reduce congestion and improve air quality as well as work that will enhance the town as a place, making it more attractive to visitors and businesses.”

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

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