Pedestrian zone and bus-only area in £5.3m transport plan for Weston town centre
- Credit: Mark Atherton
Pedestrian zones, cycle routes and a bus-only area feature in re-imagined £5.3million plans for a new-look transport network in Weston town centre.
North Somerset Council wants people's views on plans to dramatically change the town's road layout, with Regent Street, Alexandra Parade and Walliscote Road among key routes earmarked for improvements.
In 2017 the authority revealed plans to make Alexandra Parade a bus interchange among other changes to roads in the town centre.
But council officers went back to the drawing board and have created a new vision for the project, which will be funded by a multi-million-pound Government kitty, with hopes of reducing traffic volume in central Weston.
Regent Street from the Walliscote Road junction to the seafront - plus parts of High Street, St James Street, York Street and Beach Road - will become a pedestrian-only zone, excluding delivery times of 6pm-10am, if the plans materialise.
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However, the road surface and paving in the pedestrian zone will not be altered as part of the project due to a lack of funding, which the council hopes to secure at a later stage.
Regent Street from the Odeon cinema to Alfred Street is set to become a bus-only area with two-way access from both Walliscote Road and Locking Road.
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If the project goes ahead, cars will be able to access and exit Alexandra Parade - which will have one-way restrictions lifted - via a new two-way junction in Alfred Street.
Mark Canniford, the council's executive member for business, called on businesses and people living in the town centre to have their say on the plans.
He said: "Our aim is to enhance the arrival experience for the town centre, improve pedestrian and cycle facilities and bring together many of the town centre's bus stops in a coordinated interchange."
The proposals also include an improved network of cycle routes, which will make it easier for people to access the town centre and seafront on two wheels.
More than 20 trees would be planted as part of the project, while some greenery could be lost at Alexandra Parade.
North Somerset's deputy leader Mike Bell believes it is 'crucial' businesses and residents have their say.
He said: "I suspect many of the proposed improvements will be uncontroversial and welcomed by residents.
"However plans to change the layout of part of Alexandra Parade, including loss of some sections of the gardens and some trees, do concern me."
John Crockford-Hawley, chairman of the council's strategic planning scrutiny panel, told the Mercury he will hold a meeting in August for in-depth examination of the plans.
To take part in the council's consultation process, email firstname.lastname@example.org