Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Consultation on proposed improvements to Romsey town centre

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Views are being sought on proposed improvements to Romsey's town centre.

Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council have been working together to enhance Church Street, Bell Street and Market Place to make them more accessible to pedestrians, reduce traffic speeds and make the area more attractive for all who live, work and shop there.

The first phase to be looked at in detail is Church Street between Abbey Walk and Market Place. There is around £500,000 of funding available from Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council to implement the scheme.

Proposed improvements include:

  • Traffic will be slowed on Church Street from Abbey Walk from the north and just off Market Place to the south, where the carriageway will rise gently to the same level as the footways creating an area of shared space.
  • The carriageway will be narrowed close to Market Place to give more space to pedestrians and will slow vehicle speeds entering Church Street.
  • The parking layby next to the Post Office will be retained with careful placement of bollards and other street furniture to restrict inappropriate parking.
  • Yorkstone paving will be used for the footways and in front of the former Magistrates Court with the rest of the area, including the space between Church Place and King John's House/Tourist Information Office being surfaced in a buff coloured tarmac to compliment the Yorkstone.
  • Consideration will be given to removal of unnecessary street clutter and provide new appropriate street furniture to compliment existing.

Two exhibitions of the plans so far will be available for the public to view.

The first will be held in the Court Room in the Town Hall, Market Place, Romsey on Thursday 13th March 2014 from 2.00pm until 7.00pm when officers will be present to answer any questions.

The second will be on Saturday 22 March in Crosfield Hall, Broadwater Road, Romsey between 10am-12 noon. Officers will be present to answer any questions.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: "The main aim of this scheme is to enhance the environment and support the economic viability of Romsey's historic town centre whilst improving accessibility for all. Church Street currently suffers from uneven surfaces, narrow pavements and relatively fast traffic flows that discourage people from enjoying the area for any length of time. Our proposals look to address these problems.

"We are looking for feedback from the public on the proposals so far and I would encourage people to get involved. All the comments received relating to the proposals will be carefully considered and together with further technical work and consultations be used to finalise the scheme."

Councillor Martin Hatley, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy and Transport at Test Valley Borough Council and Chairman of the Romsey Future group, said: "I welcome the proposed scheme to provide better access for pedestrians, reduce traffic speeds and enhance the appearance of this historic part of the town centre. The Church Street scheme aims to encourage both residents and visitors to spend more time enjoying the town, visiting its attractions and browsing its many shops thus adding to its economic prosperity. I would encourage all to have their say on the proposals."

The consultation is open until Friday 11 April 2014. Once all views have been received, they will be carefully considered and, together with further technical work and consultations, be used to finalise the improvements scheme.

Prior to the scheme being implemented any required amendment to the parking orders will be sought. This will include the opportunity for further public comment or objection.

Feasibility work on the further phases for enhancement within the town centre, in the Market Place and Bell Street is underway and will be subject to future public consultation.

Finalised plans should come before the Cllr Woodward, as Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, for final approval in July.

It is anticipated that implementation of the scheme will start in January 2015.

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