District Council has unveiled plans to rid one of the towns most famous streets of
traffic jams. The scheme, costing £760,000, will see part of Bridge Street a road
once used by the Romans as a route to the River Avon - pedestrianised.
The plans, which go on show to the public later this week, include extensively widening
the pavements along the busy route and cutting two-way traffic back to allow it to move in
just one direction. Shoppers will also be charged for the first time for parking in the
Town planners hope the project will get rid of at least half of the cars that currently
use the road giving shoppers and tourists more space and time to enjoy the historic
buildings which line the street.
Simon Payne, assistant director of planning at Stratford, said the town had become a
victim of its own success. He said:
We have two and a half million visitors a year coming to Stratford. It is a
small town but we have a high level of car usage in the historic quarter. People come here
to enjoy our surroundings but it is jam-packed with cars.
Recent studies showed that more than 1,000 vehicles an hour currently use Bridge Street
which runs up from the River Avon into the town centre. Mr Payne said the latest scheme
should see that number cut by half.
The plans include widening the pathways along Bridge Street, planting trees and setting
down benches. Cars will only be allowed to move one-way, towards Wood Street, but buses
and pushbikes will be allowed to go in both directions. The council also hope to build a
450-space car park on the edge of town. Shoppers will be encouraged to park there and then
take a free bus into town.
People who still park on the street will be charged. The council plans to install pay
and display bays which will cost drivers up to £1 an hour.
Mr Payne said:
We hope to encourage people to think about using more environmentally
friendly forms of transport, like park and ride schemes, buses and even bikes. It is our
way of trying to preserve Stratfords beauty for future generations.
Mr Payne said the council had already discussed the scheme with traders along Bridge
Street at a day long seminar and many of their ideas had been incorporated into the final
project. Now it is the publics turn to have their say.
Details of the changes, along with an artists impression of how they will look,
goes on display at a public exhibition at Stratfords library from Friday 9 October
until 14 October. The exhibition then moves to the district council offices from 15
October until 23 October. Council officers will be available to answer questions on 9 and