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Plans To Cut Traffic In Stratford

Stratford District Council has unveiled plans to rid one of the town’s 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 street.

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 Stratford’s 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 public’s turn to have their say.

Details of the changes, along with an artist’s impression of how they will look, goes on display at a public exhibition at Stratford’s 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 10 October.


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CWN / Politics / Stratford on Avon District Council  / News / 06 Oct 98

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