Avon town

Stratford-upon-Avon town center will become pedestrian friendly under new plans

Plans to make Stratford-upon-Avon town center more pedestrian-friendly have been unveiled. Warwickshire City Council and County Council have been working with the Town Center Strategic Partnership on ideas for what Bridge Street and High Street could look like in Stratford in the future.

The hope is to improve the look and feel of downtown while making it easier and safer to get around on foot or by bike.

Changes would include the closure of the High Street daily between 11am and 4pm and the widening of both sides of the street. On Bridge Street, a central walkway would be introduced, providing more space for pedestrians – the improvements would also benefit bus riders.

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Funding for the proposed plans has not yet been secured. It comes after a bid by the county council failed last year for the government’s leveling fund to pay for the work – a county council spokesman said he hoped there would be future opportunities to bid for funding.

All proposed changes to Downtown:

  • Closure of the High Street to traffic daily between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and widening of the pavements on both sides of the street.
  • Create a wide central walkway over Bridge Street to provide more space for pedestrians and a better connection between Henley Street and Waterside, using the space created by narrowing the road, removing parking and moving taxi ranks to Union Street.
  • Changing the shape of the Bridge Street/High Street roundabout to improve circulation between Henley Street and High Street and a new pedestrian crossing in the center of the roundabout will be provided to link Henley Street to the central footbridge.
  • Create more opportunities for pedestrians to cross the road safely. New courtesy crossings will be provided where drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians, and narrower roads, reduced curb heights, lower vehicle speeds and less traffic will make it easier for pedestrians to pass to others places.
  • Maintain the temporary 20mph speed limit introduced in 2020 to support social distancing as part of the Covid-19 response.
  • Offer more attractive surfaces and some plantations.

Plans are not set in stone and could be changed based on local opinion. People who visit, live or work in Shakespeare’s Town are invited to give their views on the proposed plans during the consultation – you can see here.

Councilor Wallace Redford, Warwickshire County Council portfolio holder for transport and planning, said: “This funding offer provides an exciting opportunity to transform the historic heart of Stratford-upon-Avon. Our vision is to create a downtown that is vibrant and responsive to the needs of the local community, businesses and visitors, while respecting the overall status of the city.

“If successful, the proposals would reduce the current dominance of motor vehicles and give greater priority and space to pedestrians and cyclists, encouraging active travel and improving air quality. It would also strengthen the character and atmosphere of the city.

“We hope that as many local people as possible will participate in the events and share their views through the consultation. Your views are important to us and will help us develop the program.”

Sarah Summers, Town Clerk of Stratford-upon-Avon and a member of the Town Center Strategic Partnership, said: ‘I want to reiterate that we want to hear as many views from the public as possible – so if you are someone who lives, works or visits Stratford, please have your say and participate in the consultation.