Warwick town centre – a better place for all

A public consultation was held in summer 2016 to seek the views of residents, local businesses and stakeholders to a number of transport proposals for Warwick town centre.

The purpose of the consultation was to gauge the level of support from the public and stakeholders to the overall proposals for the town centre to help decide whether to develop them further. Additional detail was provided on the 20mph zone (including changes to Priory Road) and the area around Northgate junction as these have been identified as ‘early deliverables’ which could start to be progressed in 2017.

The closing date for consultation responses was Monday 22 August 2016.

Following a report to WCC’s Cabinet on 8 December 2016, agreement has been reached to further develop the transport proposals, including:

  • Modifications to key town centre gateways such as the Northgate, Westgate and Eastgate junctions;
  • One-way routing along High Street/Jury Street and The Butts;
  • New crossing points;
  • Improved cycle links;
  • Priority signals for buses and reduced street clutter.

20 mph zone and Priory Road infrastructure works

The 20mph zone for the town centre has been introduced, with 20mph road signs being installed on entrances to the town centre. This is alongside changes to Priory Road to reduce speeds and provide a new shared use footway/cycleway. A new zebra crossing along Cape Road has been installed as part of the Safer Routes to School programme.


Northgate junction

A detailed design is currently being drawn up and stakeholders will be informed of this in autumn 2018. The principles of the junction changes are as set out in the public consultation in summer 2016. For further information see the ‘Northgate’ tab.

A425 Saltisford/Northgate/Northgate Street/Barrack Street junction improvement

Further to the public consultation on Warwick Town Centre in the summer of 2016, we will be making improvements to the A425 Saltisford/Northgate/Northgate Street/Barrack Street junction.

Details of the improvements are in the ‘Northgate’ tab.


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Warwick is a thriving County town. However there are a number of issues in the town centre:

  • Poor air quality – especially in streets where emissions from stationary vehicles cannot easily disperse due to the height and proximity of surrounding buildings.
  • Local pinch points for traffic – the historic nature and layout of Warwick town centre streets means queues can quickly develop at peak times.
  • Poor setting for historic buildings – – in some areas the existing road layout is not sensitive to the historic setting
  • Lack of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists –with junction layouts on the edge of the town centre making it difficult to access the town on foot or by bike
  • Poor connectivity across the town – due to the existing road layout. This means that footfall to parts of the town is not maximised.
  • Through traffic and high proportion of local trips – a significant proportion of town centre traffic
    is just travelling through. Some of this traffic could use alternative routes for their journeys (e.g. M40 and A46), whilst more local through trips could switch mode to public transport, cycling or walking.

  1. Wider pavements and new crossing points for pedestrians
    • – to improve the town centre environment and provide good connectivity into and across the town
  2. Cycle lanes and shared use cycleways
      to improve cycle links into and across the town
  3. Cycle-contraflow on one-way streets
    • – allowing cyclists to ride safely in both directions along many one-way streets, providing short cuts and improving connectivity
  4. One-way routing along The Butts (northbound direction)
    • – to reduce stationary traffic and allow pavements to be widened
    • – to improve the setting of historic buildings by removing traffic lanes and widening pavements at Eastgate
  5. One-way routing along High Street / Jury Street (eastbound direction)
    • – to improve pedestrian connections between the Castle and the town, widen pavements and improve cycle facilities
    • – allows reduction in traffic lanes at Eastgate and Westgate, with additional space given over to wider pavements and more sensitive landscaping
    • traffic restrictions on Castle Lane to prevent through traffic using this route as an alternative to High Street / Jury Street
  6. Priority signals for buses
    • – to help buses exit from Warwick bus station onto Theatre Street/Bowling Green Street
  7. Reducing street clutter
    • – review of signage and street furniture
    • – improving the appearance of streets by removing all yellow lines (through the introduction of a Restricted Parking Zone). The overall quantity and location of on-street parking will remain the same.
  8. Junction alterations at key gateways
    • – reducing the footprint of junctions to allow space to be given over to other users and provide a more sensitive setting for historic buildings
    • – some are linked to the proposed one-way routing (e.g. Eastgate and Westgate) whilst others (e.g. Northgate) can be brought forward independently
  9. 20mph zone
    • – to improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. The zone includes some physical features to help to slow traffic in-line with the lower speed limit.
    • – more extensive changes are proposed to the road layout along Priory Road as this area experiences higher traffic speeds.
How will our proposals improve the situation?
ObjectivesHow the proposals will achieve the objectives
Improve air qualityReducing the amount of stationary traffic by removing key conflict points for traffic in the town.
Support and Enhance the Local Economy
  • More pleasant streets with wider pavements, better facilities for cyclists, lower traffic speeds and less street clutter.
  • Maximise footfall by improving pedestrian links across the town.
  • Access will be maintained for car users and the amount of on-street parking will remain unchanged.
  • Majority of road users will experience improved journey times due to the removal of conflict points.
Promote a healthier and active community
  • Encouraging active lifestyles with improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, ensuring that routes are improved both into and across the town.
  • Health benefits associated with improved air quality.
Protect the historic built environmentImproving the setting of historic buildings by making changes to the road layout.

Proposal maps

Overview of proposals

Overview of proposals

Eastbound traffic movement</h3
Eastbound traffic movement

Westbound traffic movement

Westbound traffic movement

Overview of cycling connectivity

Overview of cycling connectivity

A425 Saltisford/Northgate/Northgate Street/Barrack Street junction improvement

The improvements are part of the wider Warwick town centre scheme to:

  • Provide better connectivity into and across the town
  • Reduce street clutter
  • Improve the appearance of streets
  • Change the layout of junctions so there is space given to other users
  • Provide a more sensitive setting for historical buildings

One of the proposals is to prevent the right turn for eastbound vehicles on the A425 Saltisford/Northgate at its junction with Northgate Street. Another proposal is a right turn only for vehicles travelling north-east along Barrack Street into Northgate Street.

In addition to the above traffic changes, there will be a central public realm area at the junction of Saltisford/Northgate/Northgate Street/Barrack Street, a 75mm raised table (road hump), and formalised pedestrian refuge crossing points.

Approval was given by Cllr Jeff Clarke to proceed with a public realm scheme for Northgate Square in Warwick on the 19th October 2018.

Northgate Square is the first square to be built in Warwick for over three centuries. The last public square, Old Square, at the other end of Northgate Street, in front of St Mary’s Church, was approved by Act of Parliament following the great fire of 1694 and it was completed by around 1700.

The proposal at Northgate Junction is therefore being termed ‘Northgate Square’.

Work is currently taking place to consider and choose a materials palette for the scheme. It is anticipated that there will be an information sharing event before the project commences in 2019. This will provide an opportunity to view the public realm proposal along with examples of the materials and the traffic management proposals whilst the scheme is being constructed.

Key changes:

  • Removal of left hand lane into High Street / Jury Street
  • Narrowing of entrance point to The Butts
  • Pavement widening:
  • – outside Baptist church (could accommodate some disabled parking)
  • – around Eastgate
  • – on Castle Hill

Ideas for Eastgate

Key changes:

  • One-way eastbound
  • Pavement widening
  • Cycle contraflow along part of length

Ideas for High Street-Jury Street

Northgate-priory rdPriory rd

 

Traffic flow without scheme

 

Warwick Town Centre 2018 base: the video shows the typical highway conditions in Warwick Town Centre with the current highway layout in the morning peak period. The video shows three time periods: 0800 to 0810; 0820 to 0830 and 0840 to 0850 (played at 7 times normal speed).


 

Traffic flow with scheme

Warwick Town Centre 2018 with scheme: the video shows the typical conditions in Warwick Town Centre in the morning peak period with the proposed ideas for the town centre in place, including one-way routing on The Butts (northbound) and one way routing on High Street/Jury Street (eastbound). The video shows three time periods: 0800 to 0810; 0820 to 0830 and 0840 to 0850 (played at 7 times normal speed).

What are the drawbacks of the proposals?

  • A slight worsening of air quality on certain streets due to increased traffic flows (but not above acceptable exceedance levels). However air quality across the town as a whole is improved as a result of the proposals.
  • Some motorists will experience increased journey times due to having to take longer routes. However the majority of motorists will experience improved journey times due to the removal of conflict points.

How will these drawbacks be minimised?

  • Encouraging through traffic to use alternative routes such as the M40 and A46, rather than travelling via Warwick town centre,
  • Encouraging uptake of different forms of transport, with the pedestrian and cycle infrastructure improvements helping people switch to these modes,
  • Proposals will be supported by a Smarter Choices and Travel Planning Programme – working with local businesses and schools to encourage a shift to walking, cycling and car-sharing.

Traffic routes

    1. Why are one-way streets being introduced?

The one-way streets are being introduced for a number of reasons:

      • To simplify the road system in Warwick so that current conflicts for vehicles are reduced. Removal of these conflicts means that stationary traffic is reduced, helping to improve air quality.
      • To allow pavements to be widened and facilities for cyclists improved
      • To allow traffic lanes to be removed from junctions, reducing the footprint of junctions and improving the setting of historic buildings
    1. What other route options were considered?

Various one-way routing options were considered, including a reversal of the current proposals (with The Butts southbound and High Street / Jury Street westbound). The proposed one-way routing provides the greatest benefits for easing the flow of traffic (and associated air quality improvements) and gives the opportunity to reallocate roadspace to other uses.

    1. What is the impact of displaced traffic from the introduction of one-way streets? Will traffic levels increase on some streets?

Yes, traffic levels will increase on some streets due to displaced traffic. However the proposals will encourage people out of their cars for more local journeys and encourage them to use different routes if they are just travelling through the town, so we aim to minimize any increase.

    1. How will the proposals discourage through traffic?

The scheme will discourage through traffic in two ways:

      • By creating less direct routes through the town, people may be discouraged from travelling through and choose alternative routes instead (e.g. M40, A46)
      • Through traffic may be discouraged by the introduction of a 20mph zone.

Air Quality

    1. What are the impacts of the proposals on air quality?

Air quality modelling has been carried out to understand the impact of the one-way routing proposals. This shows that air quality is improved overall for the town centre. On streets where air quality worsens (due to displaced traffic from the one-way routing), this is well below acceptable exceedance levels.

Assessment of proposals

    1. What assessment of the proposals has been carried out?
      • Traffic modeling – assessments have been undertaken in S-Paramics microsimulation modelling software using the latest datasets to inform traffic flows and routing. Average delays across the modelled network were the primary performance indicators.
      • Air quality modeling (as indicated in Q5 above)
    2. How will the proposals accommodate Local Plan growth?

The proposals are designed to deal with existing issues within the town. However, transport modeling work has been undertaken to understand the impact of the proposals in a future year scenario with Local Plan growth. The proposals have been assessed in the same Local Plan transport models used to provide evidence for the Local Plan examination. This modelling includes all the most recent Modifications to the Plan and includes demand associated with the Asps and Gallows Hill Appeals sites. Analysis of this assessment identifies that the proposals show improved performance over those identified within the Infrastructure Delivery Plan to support the Local Plan. The scheme proposals will also help achieve modal shift which will reduce the overall impact of Local Plan growth on the highway network.

Cycling

    1. What is a cycle-contraflow?

A cycle-contraflow allows two-way cycling on one-way streets, improving connectivity for cyclists and providing short cuts. There are many examples of their introduction in the UK, including on narrow historic streets.

Street clutter

    1. How will street clutter be minimised?

An audit of street sign and street furniture will be carried out with a focus on reducing street clutter.

    1. What is a Restricted Parking Zone?

A Restricted Parking Zone is an area where all yellow lines are removed. Parking is only permitted in clearly defined bays and it is illegal to park on-street anywhere else within the zone.

Other proposals

    1. What other proposals have been considered?

The ideas being put forward have been developed following the transport strategy review for the Warwick and Leamington area carried out in 2014/15. Other proposals being developed include: Park and Ride, walking and cycling improvements for Warwick and Leamington and working with employers and schools to encourage mode shift.
The proposals being developed do not preclude other ideas that the public may wish to explore being put forward at a later date e.g. proposals to reduce overall traffic levels.

The 20mph zone and Priory Road works are complete. Detailed proposals for Northgate junction are being drawn up and will be consulted on in 2018 and we anticipate construction taking place from Spring 2019.The outstanding proposals could be delivered in the short to medium term (2-5 years) subject to further development work and securing necessary funding:

  • Modifications to key town centre gateways such as the Westgate and Eastgate junctions;
  • One-way routing along High Street/Jury Street and The Butts;
  • New crossing points;
  • Improved cycle links;
  • Priority signals for buses and reduced street clutter.

The purpose of the consultation was to gauge the level of support from the public and stakeholders to the overall proposals for the town centre to help decide whether to develop them further. Additional detail was provided on the 20mph zone (including changes to Priory Road) and the area around Northgate junction as these were identified as ‘early deliverables’ which could start to be progressed.

Key findings from the consultation feedback are included in the Warwick town centre consultation report (PDF, 490.15 KB)

The headline findings from the consultation are generally positive, as illustrated in the table.

 
QuestionSupport (%)Oppose (%)Neither support nor oppose (%)
Overall support for proposals563410
Support for individual proposals
Wider pavements and new crossing points672112
Cycle lanes and shared use cycleways592220
Cycle contraflow on one-way streets483220
One-way routing along The Butts573112
One-way routing along High Street / Jury Street484013
Priority signals for buses at bus station551431
Reducing street clutter80515
Junction alterations at key gateways622216
20mph zone for the town centre661618
Support for early deliverables
Priory Road512326
Northgate junction552322

The 20mph zone for the town centre has been introduced, with 20mph road signs being installed on entrances to the town centre.The next stage of the project affected Priory Road, and saw the widening of the footpath (on the Priory Park side). This was to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists, with localised footway widening on the opposite side of the road. The footways from Cross Street to Northgate were resurfaced.

Town centre consultation header

Warwick town centre – a better place for all was last updated on November 20, 2018.