Official opening of new walking and cycling routes to Shrewsbury town centre
A new scheme to improve walking and cycling connections in Shrewsbury town centre, completed as part of the improvement works at the Raven Meadows junction of Smithfield Road, will officially open today (Wednesday 30 November 2011).
As well as better access for walkers and cyclists travelling across the town, these improvements will also result in quicker access to the bus station for bus traffic, straighter traffic lanes through the junction when travelling towards the rail station, and improved traffic signal control to help reduce congestion.
The work, a joint initiative from Shropshire Council and Sustrans, is part of a wider Connect2 project in the town connecting communities to the west and north of the town centre, providing safe and direct walking and cycling routes linking to schools, workplaces, shops, and the railway and bus stations.
Councillor Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for transport, said:
“It’s great that this work has now been completed and I’m sure these new routes will make a big difference to people walking and cycling across the town.
“Smithfield Road is a major traffic through-route in Shrewsbury, so the project was carefully planned to ensure there would be minimal disruption to traffic during the day.”
Andrew Bannerman, Shropshire Councillor for Quarry and Coton Hill, said:
“The contractor and their workers have pulled out all the stops to finish this work before the Christmas rush. I hope everyone will appreciate the improvements to this busy junction – particularly pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers.”
The official opening, to include Shropshire Councillors Simon Jones, Andrew Bannerman and Tony Durnell (Mayor of Shrewsbury), will take place from 2pm until 3pm on Wednesday 30 November on Smithfield Road by The Albert pub.
The project has received funding thanks to the council’s successful bid to the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, and a Department for Transport (DfT) grant to Sustrans.
Shrewsbury is one of 79 places across the UK which has been chosen to receive Connect2 funding from Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity. Sustrans’ Connect2 is funded by a £50 million Big Lottery Fund grant after the UK public voted the scheme the winner of The People’s Millions Lottery contest in December 2007.
The focus of Connect2 in Shrewsbury is a riverside promenade along Smithfield Road and a pedestrian/cycle crossing at Welsh Bridge, linking the traffic-free route through The Quarry to the bus and railway stations.
Better access to the bus station is just one phase of Shrewsbury’s Connect2 project. Other schemes include: Greenfields greenways, paths through the Greenfields Gardens housing development, Welsh Bridge junction improvements, Smithfield Road cycle track, and Meadow Place cycle contra flow lane.