Hampshire County Council

Winchester Movement and Access Plan Joint Members' Panel

6 November 2003

Proposed Jewry Street/City Road Improvement Scheme: Outcome of Public Consultation

Report of the Director of Environment

Item 8

Contact: Nick Richardson, ext 5429 email: nick.richardson@hants.gov.uk

1. Summary

1.1 Following the identification of Jewry Street/City Road as a high priority within the Winchester Movement and Access Plan (WMAP), a public consultation exercise was undertaken regarding proposed improvements. The proposed changes considered improvements for pedestrians, following the completion of the first Jewry Street scheme in 1999, and the impact on other road users. Measures put forward as part of the consultation exercise included extending the reallocation of road space in Jewry Street, re-shaping the junction with North Walls and improving street lighting; it was also proposed that part of the Jewry Street car park be redesigned to provide a public space between the current public library building and the Theatre Royal.

1.2 The consultation exercise generated several hundred written responses with a mix of opinion both in favour of and against the proposals.

1.3 Funding will need to be identified for any scheme to proceed but it is unlikely that a scheme could be implemented before 2005/2006.

2. Introduction

2.1 An improvement scheme for Jewry Street/City Road was identified as being a high priority within the WMAP investment programme (4 March 2003).

2.2 The Jewry Street improvement scheme completed in 1999 provides safer facilities for pedestrians in addition to improvements to the environment for all road users and was well received by local businesses and residents. More recently, the Station Interchange/City Road Junction scheme has highlighted the importance of the route between the railway station and the city centre. The Jewry Street/City Road proposals connect these two schemes. The concept involves reducing the impact of traffic and encouraging walking, cycling and public transport use.

2.3 For Jewry Street, the initial design concept continued the theme established in the 1999 scheme and extended it to the northern end of Jewry Street including the junction at City Road/.Hyde Street/North Walls. For City Road, the contemporary theme implemented at the Station Interchange could be extended to the Jewry Street junction, an important gateway to the city centre for pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and motorists. The area includes the setting of the public lending library, Theatre Royal, St Peter's RC Church and other notable buildings. Urban design values have been an important consideration in combination with transport issues.

2.4 It is recognized that funding for the scheme is not available in the current capital programme. The scheme is included in a pool of schemes to be implemented when funding permits and is unlikely to be before 2006/07 at the earliest. However, it is important that the shape of the scheme is determined well in advance so that the necessary detailed design can be undertaken. The consultation exercise was arranged prior to changes in the capital programme that affected the programming of schemes.

3. Proposed Improvements

3.1 A number of options were presented at the public consultation which included a `recommended option' (covering the highway and the Jewry Street car park owned by Winchester City Council) and an `interim option' (including the highway only). Options that had been considered and rejected were also available for comparison and discussion purposes. Some individual elements could be included or not included and opinion was sought on the wider concepts and design issues.

3.2 The concept included a number of changes in Jewry Street including reduced road width, flexible use of space (particularly the car park), new walking routes, a zebra crossing, relocated bus stops and new street lighting. It was proposed that at the junction with North Walls, replacement traffic signals be provided with rationalized traffic lanes with a new arrangement that would not affect traffic queuing. Possible measures for City Road recognized the key link between the station interchange and the city centre and included new street lighting and new bus stop arrangements.

4. Public Consultation

4.1 An exhibition of the proposals was presented at the Jewry Street public lending library from Monday 23 to Saturday 28 June and Monday 30 June to Saturday 5 July 2003. County Council and Winchester City Council staff were available to answer questions and discuss the ideas presented between 11am and 2pm each day. A summary of the proposals was available at a number of other locations including Theatre Royal (Jewry Street), County Council Information Centre (High Street), Winchester City Council offices at Colebrook Street and Avalon House and the United Church (Jewry Street). Questionnaires were provided for people to express their opinions. Information was also available on the County Council's web site which included an electronic version of the questionnaire.

4.2 Prior to the consultation exercise, a meeting for stakeholders was held on 4 April 2003. This involved local interest and amenity groups, transport providers, local businesses representatives and County Council and City Council representatives. The initial ideas were outlined and a number of suggestions made regarding the concepts presented and the consultation process itself.

4.3 A further meeting was held on 24 June 2003 at the Theatre Royal for local business interests at the invitation of the Winchester City Centre Management Group and North Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry at which over 40 people attended. A presentation on the proposals was made and comments invited.

4.4 The consultation exercise generated 268 responses (240 written and 28 electronic questionnaires). A wide range of opinions was expressed with most respondents commenting, some in considerable detail. Table 1 summarises the outcome of the consultation exercise.

Table 1

Summary of Jewry Street/City Road consultation responses

Question

Responses

Strongly agree

Tend to agree

Neutral

Tend to disagree

Strongly disagree

1 - Do you support the principles of the Jewry Street/City Road redevelopment proposals?

53

(21%)

54

(21%)

29

(11%)

32

(13%)

85

(34%)

2 - Do you support the proposed public space between the library building and the Theatre Royal?

58

(22%)

43

(17%)

15

(6%)

23

(9%)

119

(46%)

3 - Do you support narrowing Jewry Street to one lane outside the library building?

42

(16%)

30

(12%)

18

(7%)

37

(14%)

129

(50%)

4 - Do you support the proposed changes in the Jewry Street car park layout?

26

(10%)

39

(15%)

25

(10%)

23

(9%)

144

(56%)

5 - Do you support the proposed layout of the Jewry Street/City Road/Hyde Street/North Walls junction?

40

(16%)

64

(25%)

46

(18%)

34

(13%)

68

(27%)

6 - Do you support the proposed improvements to City Road?

39

(15%)

75

(30%)

50

(20%)

27

(11%)

63

(25%)

4.5 Many of the responses concerned Jewry Street and the use of part of the car park as a public space. Strong opinions were expressed about the need to retain short stay parking spaces rather than introduce a pedestrian area. In particular, local businesses, churches and the theatre felt that the car park was invaluable. The idea that the car park could be available for these purposes during the evenings and weekends but revert to fewer spaces during the day was not widely supported in view of access to local facilities.

4.6 A range of views was also evident in relation to the use of Jewry Street and the balance between space for vehicular traffic and other road users. Many people felt that reducing the carriageway to a single lane would create difficulties for traffic flow and it would be important to retain adequate vehicle stacking capacity at the traffic signals. This would also influence the re-positioning of the bus stop and the space dedicated for bus use. Pedestrian crossing arrangements raised a variety of views although the proposed zebra crossing was not felt to be in the most appropriate place. People expressed the view that the best crossing place would be outside the library building, although this is not the most practical location in other respects. Changes to the Jewry Street/City Road/Hyde Street/North Walls junction prompted mixed views with respondents concerned that traffic should not be unduly delayed but accepting that pedestrian crossing arrangements were important. Providing space on a larger island for cyclists to dismount (to walk cycles past the Theatre Royal) was suggested as the scope for cycle measures is severely constrained.

4.7 Comments received included the following:

4.8 A number of items of correspondence were received covering a wide variety of issues including traffic management generally in the city, the impact of delivery vehicles on traffic flow, the need to retain car parking for a variety of purposes including at weekends for church-goers, measures such as Park and Ride to reduce traffic levels, opportunities for cycling improvements, using Tower Street for picking up and setting down of theatre-goers and the need to refurbish or relocate the public toilets in Jewry Street.

5. Scheme Implementation

5.1 It will not be possible to proceed with implementation until funding becomes available, a situation that is unlikely before 2006/07. It is suggested that a scheme be refined, based on the `interim option' presented at the public consultation exercise, with changes made to reflect the views received. This would involve changes to the highway but not to the land in the ownership of Winchester City Council (Jewry Street car park). Further consultation will be required in due course for a refined scheme.

6. Conclusion

6.1 The proposed changes in Jewry Street/City Road generated a strong response to the consultation exercise undertaken in June/July 2003. The majority of respondents were opposed to the concept of reshaping Jewry Street with a new public space and were concerned that capacity for traffic might be reduced. However, improvements in City Road and at the North Walls junction received mixed views.

Recommendation

That the Panel notes the outcome of the public consultation on the Jewry Street/City Road proposals and considers which elements of the proposals could be taken forward.

Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

NB the list excludes:

1.

Published works.

2.

Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

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