DESIGN plans for two key streets in Stratford town centre are being drawn up.
The project to alter Bridge Street and High Street aims to create a better balance of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
The plans – designed by placemaking consultants PJA – will form a bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund – established to invest in infrastructure to improve everyday life across the UK.
They include narrowing the carriageway on the two streets, widening footpaths, and landscaping to create a more sensitive setting for the historic town centre.
The Neighbourhood Plan proposal – on which the scheme is based – 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.
It also includes a central walkway along Bridge Street where two-way traffic is maintained at all times.
Sarah Summers, clerk for Stratford Town Council – which forms part of the Stratford Town Centre Strategic Partnership (TCSP) overseeing the project – said: “We are keen to see Stratford 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 town centre for residents, visitors and businesses, while still respecting our town’s unique history and character.”
Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council, also part of the TCSP, said: “The county council is delighted to be working with Stratford Town Council, Stratford District Council and other partners on this bid.
“It is important 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.”