Stratford residents and stakeholders will soon be able to have their say on plans to improve two key town centre streets to create a better balance of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles.
Initial plans to alter Bridge Street and High Street, as well as Union Street were made 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 Group (SPG).
Now, the Portfolio Holder for Transport at Warwickshire County Council, Cllr Wallace Redford, has given the green light for the plans to go to public consultation.
The SPG is currently collating information for the consultation and is working towards launching it in the near future.
Once the consultation is launched, the public will be able to scrutinise the plans and make suggestions on how they can be improved or changed.
The initial ideas for Bridge Street and High Street were based around proposals included in the Stratford-upon-Avon Neighbourhood Development Plan.
The latest proposals include narrowing the road on the two streets and giving more space to pedestrians, as well as using materials and a layout which create a more attractive area.
High Street would also be closed to through traffic between 11am and 4pm, and a 20mph speed limit would be in place.
The current proposal also includes a central walkway running along the centre of Bridge Street to make it easier for pedestrians to move through the street. It is proposed to keep Bridge Street open to two-way traffic and buses will continue to operate on the street.
Geraldine Collinge, Director of Creative Placemaking and Public Programmes at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and chair of the SPG, added: “It’s great that the plans for Bridge Street and High Street will soon be ready for the public to look at and scrutinise.
“For every project the Partnership is going to be involved with, public consultation is enormously important.
“We think we’ve come up with well-informed ideas after we discussed them at length before the funding bid was drawn up, but we know the public will do a great job of fine-tuning the plans through this consultation.”
Cllr Wallace Redford, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning, said: “Whether the outcome of the bid for Levelling Up funding from the government is successful or not, we want to continue the momentum with this exciting project by taking it forward to consultation.
“When the town centre was adapted to help it to reopen safely after lockdown, we worked with the public and local stakeholders and businesses to finetune the scheme. We want to replicate and build on that collaborative approach to shape the town centre to create the best environment for all involved.”
The SPG was formed in 2020 and is made up of various stakeholder organisations in the town, both in the public and private sectors.
It was created to help Stratford become a sustainable town for the future that still attracts people to live, work and visit it in its unique Shakespearean setting.