Initial Warwick town centre transport improvements get go-ahead

Warwick Town Centre consultation photo 1 smA number of initial improvements to transport in Warwick town centre are set to place following approval by Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet.

They include the implementation of a 20 mile per hour zone on all roads in the town centre to improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. The zone would include some physical features to help slow traffic, in line with the lower speed limit.

Further works would take place at Priory Road to narrow the road and provide a dedicated shared use pedestrian/cycle facility from the east of the town to the town centre, as this area experiences higher traffic speeds.

Changes will also take place at the Northgate junction, including the removal of the existing roundabout and narrowing of the carriageway, a widening of the footway outside Northgate House, and the provision of a new pedestrian and cycle crossing.

A public consultation that asked Warwick residents and businesses what they thought about the proposed improvement ideas for the town centre was launched earlier this year.

It followed a transport strategy review of the Warwick and Leamington area in 2014/15, which identified the need to improve air quality, reduce stationary traffic and improve journeys for pedestrians and cyclists.

Based on the feedback received during the public consultation, work is currently underway to modify the original proposals, which include minor amendments to the Priory Road proposals and amendments to the design of the Northgate proposals to be more sympathetic to the Conservation Area.

The improvements will be funded by housing developer contributions, including the South West Warwick development, with the works taking place in 2017.

Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet endorsed the principles of the overall transport proposals for Warwick – which include the proposed one-way routing of The Butts and High Street/Jury Street, a cycle contraflow on some one-way streets and junction alterations at key gateways to the town – and agreed to further work being carried out to develop these proposals to a greater level of detail, in recognition of feedback from the public consultation.

Councillor Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning, said: “We put these proposals to the town’s residents and businesses earlier this year following the recognition that there was a clear need to manage the adverse effects of traffic in the town centre.

“We had both positive and constructive feedback during the consultation period and I’m pleased that Cabinet has agreed to these initial improvements, which will ensure that traffic enters the town at an appropriate speed and will help people move around the town centre freely and safely.

“Further work will now take place to develop proposals for more extensive plans that would reduce the dominance of traffic in the town centre and improve traffic flow.”

Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of Warwickshire County Council’s Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee, said: “The feedback we had from the consultation has helped to shape these initial proposals and I’m pleased that, following Cabinet approval, they can now be taken forward.

“This is good news for pedestrians and cyclists in Warwick and the County Council will be working hard to develop and clarify the further proposals, with the aim of reducing congestion and improving traffic flow around the town for the benefit of all.”

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