Alexandra Parade to become bus interchange as part of big changes to Weston town centre's roads
PUBLISHED: 07:38 27 October 2017
Almost £5million is due to be spent to convert Weston-super-Mare's Alexandra Parade into a bus interchange, delivering 'a major step forward in the regeneration of the town centre'.
An attractive entrance to the town centre, enhanced cycling and pedestrian links, and a central hub for public transport is planned after North Somerset Council received funding for the next stage of its rejuvenation of Weston.
Under the scheme, Alexandra Parade will become the focal point for public transport, with the width of the island reduced to create an eight-stop bus station.
Cars will not be allowed to use the newly-created loop, which will stretch from Alfred Street to the Odeon, making it shorter.
The council has though ruled out the prospect of a park-and-ride service due to cost concerns.
North Somerset this week heard its bid to the Department for Transport for £2.95million to make the changes was successful.
And it hopes on Monday to receive a further £1.5million to pay for the scheme from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – which gave the council almost £2.5million for the Italian Gardens revamp.
The new road layout is tailored for the hundreds of new homes which will be built at sites like Dolphin Square and the former police station.
It will encourage drivers to take two key routes when entering the town centre, either via Station Road and Walliscote Grove Road towards the seafront, or along Alfred Street to connect with the Boulevard.
Drivers exiting at the town centre end of Meadow Street will join a new carriageway which will allow traffic to use Orchard Street or Alma Street.
Aesthetic improvements to public spaces near Weston Railway Station and the Town Hall are planned, while pedestrians and cyclists would benefit from new crossings and links between the station, seafront and town centre – plus bike racks.
Shared space similar to Beach Road, which is used by public transport and pedestrians, is planned for Walliscote Road.
Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s executive member for transport, believes ‘securing this funding is a major step forward in the regeneration of Weston town centre’.
He said: “Delivering high-quality, well-connected public spaces and infrastructure is key to underpinning the potential housing and employment growth in Weston.”
But, despite the intention to build a bus interchange, there are ‘no plans’ to create a Weston park-and-ride.
And the town’s much-maligned parking issues could worsen as the new transport programme and residential developments would see Locking Road Car Park harvested for housing.
Cllr Ap Rees added: “It is still early days for the detail to be confirmed on theses arrangements.
“However, we will be seeking to retain at least a similar level of car parking as present, while the bus terminus will in effect be a relocation and concentration of stops in the area rather than being spread out as they are now.
“There are no plans at this stage for a park-and-ride provision, which at the present time is not seen as cost effective or sustainable.
“Likewise there are no plans to change the new Alfred Street junction.”