Proposals to rejuvenate Welwyn Garden City town centre revised after public response

PUBLISHED: 17:09 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:09 23 October 2018

Stonehills in Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Nina Morgan

Stonehills in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Nina Morgan

Archant

The next steps in plans to rejuvenate Welwyn Garden City town centre have been announced by Herts County Council and Welwyn Hatfield Council.

The proposals aim to improve the town centre environment for cyclists and pedestrians and make the area more pleasant and attractive.

Herts County Council collected views from residents and businesses earlier this year during a trial of road layout changes.

The consultation revealed broad support for the plans, which are intended to reduce vehicle circulation and calm traffic.

Changes were made to the initial proposals in light of feedback, with plans to move the taxi rank to Stonehills discontinued.

Instead, the revised plans will see the taxi rank moved from immediately outside the Howard Centre, while still keeping it in Howardsgate.

More on-street parking will be retained, with 10 spaces lost compared to the 27 trialled in June.

At the moment there are 74 parking spaces on Fretherne Road, Stonehills, Howardsgate and the affected parts of Wigmores North, including two for electric cars and seven for blue badge holders.

During the trial period, the proposed layout offered 47 spaces, while maintaining the same number for electric cars and blue badge holders.

However under the revised proposals there would be 64 parking spaces, and an additional blue badge space, making eight in total.

Phil Bibby, the county council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We learned a lot from the trial earlier this year, both about what worked and what didn’t.

“While most people are supportive, we clearly need to revise the plans and we’re now developing detailed designs for the town centre improvements alongside Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.”

All other parts of the scheme will progress as originally planned.

This includes removing traffic at the top end of Stonehills to create space for local businesses, markets and events and introducing a 20mph speed limit.

Cllr Stephen Boulton, Welwyn Hatfield Council’s executive member for environment and planning, said: “We are really pleased to see the scheme moving forwards, marking more positive progress for the town ahead of the 2020 celebrations.”

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