New plans could reduce cars in Warwick town centre

MHLC 13-08-13 Air Quality  Aug39
Traffic pictures in Warwick town centre,Causing poor air quality . ENGNNL00120130813171247
MHLC 13-08-13 Air Quality Aug39 Traffic pictures in Warwick town centre,Causing poor air quality . ENGNNL00120130813171247

Warwick town centre could be transformed with a 20mph zone and wider pavements to deter traffic from driving through congested streets.

More pedestrian crossings, cycle links, altered traffic routes and junctions and priority for buses are all being proposed in the latest traffic plan for the town.

Warwick, Smith Street.
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Warwick, Smith Street. MHLC-31-01-15 NNL-150202-114758009

A public consultation will launch next week in hope of shaping the town centre and residents and drivers are urged to have a say to build up a picture of users needs.

It is not yet known how much the vision for Warwick could cost, but councillor said that if funding bids are successful, a 20mph speed limit and changes to Northgate junction could go ahead within 12 months.

Warwickshire County Council is pushing for the upgrades following a transport strategy review last year where a number of proposals over air quality improvement and helping traffic flow at peak times were set out.

The council’s aim is to improve journeys for walkers and cyclists by bringing in a lower speed limits in the town centre, wider pavements and new crossing points.

While recognising that Warwick is a thriving county town, a range of issues in the town centre were highlighted

Warwickshire County Council

This in turn is hoped to deter drivers from making short trips thorough the centre.

And it could all be delivered withing five years in what has been hailed as a great step for the future of Warwick.

A council spokesperson said: “While recognising that Warwick is a thriving county town, a range of issues in the town centre were highlighted by the review.

“They include poor air quality, pinch points for traffic, a lack of facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, a high proportion of through traffic and a large number of local trips by car.”

County councillors, John Holland, Angela Warner and Jenny St John have all been involved in developing the ideas.

Cllr Holland (Lab) said as an Air Quality Management Zone, something had to be done in Warwick - and that the consultation would help shape the town’s future.

“This consultation is to capture the good ideas and help improve things,” he said. “Air quality is so important and this is a genuine consultation process to draw ideas.”

Subject to securing necessary funding, all changes could be in place by 2021.

Describing the proposals as “wide-ranging”, Cllr Peter Butlin, portfolio holder, said: “Our shared vision is for Warwick to be a better place to live, work and visit.”

Plans will be released on Thursday July 7 at the town community forum before a public exhibition outside Shire Hall on Friday 8 July and Saturday 9 July (10am-4pm).