A £1.5m scheme to enhance Shrewsbury’s ‘northern gateway’ and improve access to the town centre has been completed on schedule and on budget.
Work to enhance this key entrance to Shrewsbury town centre, upgrade pavements, cycle paths and crossings, and improve traffic flows began on 17 September 2012, and has been carried out in two phases. Phase one ended on 30 November, with phase two beginning on 7 January 2013.
Work has been carried out on Chester Street, Cross Street, Castle Foregate and Howard Street, and has included:
• Resurfacing of Chester Street, Cross Street, Castle Foregate and Howard Street.
• Use of high-quality paving materials, and widened pavements, on Castle Foregate, Cross Street, Chester Street and the end of Smithfield Road.
• Construction of a new bus lay-by on Smithfield Road opposite the railway station, which will enable several bus services to avoid using the gyratory.
• Lighting of the railway bridges to improve personal safety and appearance.
• New and upgraded pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities on Chester Street, St Michael’s Street and Castle Foregate – with seven new crossing points.
• New, wider, shared-use pavements on Chester Street and Castle Foregate.
• Installation of traffic signals at three junctions, with new technology to optimise traffic flows.
• Detection equipment and early warning signs for high vehicles approaching the town centre on Ellesmere Road – preventing bridge strikes.
• Planting of trees, with uplighters.
Shropshire Council’s consultants, Mouchel, designed and supervised the scheme, and construction work has been carried out by Fitzgerald Contractors Ltd.
Keith Jones, Shropshire Council’s senior highways engineer, said:
“This is a major approach to the town centre, and this work will make it a far more attractive, pleasant and safer environment, with better lighting and paving, wider pavements, more safe crossings for pedestrians, improved traffic flow and better traffic signals.
“This important project has already made a huge difference to the appearance of the Chester Street area. Now that work is completed, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists really will see the full benefits of the work.
“This has been a challenging site to work on so close to the town centre, but the council and our contractors have worked hard to minimise any disruption and maintain access to the town for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, and we thank people for bearing with us while work has been carried out.”
Jake Wentworth, project manager at Mouchel, said:
“Mouchel has worked collaboratively with the council as its term consultant, and with Fitzgeralds, to successfully deliver this important improvement scheme. The construction work was challenging due to the busy nature of the town centre location, but now that the work is completed the scheme is already beginning to bring considerable benefits to the travelling public and pedestrians alike.”
Nick Coley, Managing Director of Fitzgerald Contractors, said:
“Fitzgerald Contractors are very proud to have worked collaboratively with Shropshire Council and Mouchel to deliver the scheme whilst causing the minimum of disruption. The end product is a credit to everybody involved in the project.”
The completion of this scheme concludes the ‘Connect2′ Lottery-funded project to improve pedestrian and cycling facilities along Smithfield Road and create links to northern Shrewsbury.
Shropshire Council secured grant funding towards the Northern Gateway Enhancement Scheme from:
• Growth Point (Department of Communities and Local Government)
• Local Sustainable Transport Fund (Department for Transport)
• Connect2 (Big Lottery).