Response to Shrewsbury BID’s concerns about town centre work
Shrewsbury BID have raised a number of concerns in relation to the current closure of High Street, and the planned ‘wayfinding’ project in the town centre. This is our response to the BID’s concerns.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“We value the close relationship we have with the BID and take any such concerns seriously.
“We want to make Shrewsbury the best possible place to live, shop, visit, work and do business and we’re committed to working with all of the town’s stakeholders – especially the BID – to achieve this. Working collaboratively will help us all to achieve the best outcomes for the town within the resources we have available. Self-evidently, the aims and aspirations of Shropshire Council and the BID to support a thriving town centre are important to us both.
“We fully appreciate that times are challenging for Shrewsbury’s town centre traders at the moment – as they are across the county and the rest of the country – and we apologise for any disruption caused by the current closure of High Street.
“The closure of High Street was necessary to enable Cadent to carry out essential work to renew ageing gas mains. Our intention was always to take advantage of the road closure by carrying out a major facelift of the kerbs and paving on High Street and at the bottom of Pride Hill as soon as the gas works finished. This work – being carried out as part of the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package (SITP) – is now taking place.
“Alongside the upgrading of Pride Hill and the work from Town Walls to Claremont Bank – also part of SITP – this work is key to improving the public and urban realm for Shrewsbury. We continue to thank people for their understanding while all of this important work is carried out – we’re certain they will see a significant and notable improvement to the town centre once the work is complete.
“We’re sorry that local businesses feel information about the nature and length of the road closure wasn’t communicated as clearly and effectively as it could have been, and we’ll certainly look at ways to improve our communication in future.
“We’ll also meet with the BID to discuss the future phases of the SITP work, and look to agree a way forward that satisfies all parties, while continuing to meet our funding agreement. But we also want to see where we can support and build upon previous successful initiatives such as the Shoplatch pocket park, to deliver future initiatives and improvements.
“The wayfinding project is a very important one for the town, and one that we remain committed to. We will bring forward the project outside of the initial SITP area – that is, the outer perimeter of the town centre – and ensure the wayfinding posts are installed in this area. Within the SITP area we are already installing the fixing points and – once this work is complete – will ensure that the posts are installed as quickly as possible.
“We hope we will be able to satisfactorily address the BID’s concerns and, as we work to deliver our future investment and development ambitions for Shrewsbury, we will be working closely with them, particularly as partners in the delivery of the Big Town Plan.”
The core objectives of the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package (SITP) are:
- To contribute to economic growth
- To alleviate congestion improving key junctions, and altering junction priorities on the inner relief road.
- To reduce the volume of traffic flows through the historic and commercial town centre.
- To improve the reliability of journey times; for commuters and visitors travelling in and out of Shrewsbury.
- To improve air quality in the town centre.
- To encourage sustainable transport by adding missing links to current pedestrian and cycle routes.
- To improve safety for all road users, which will encourage the use of sustainable transport modes.
For more information, go to: www.shropshire.gov.uk/sitp.