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Unveiled: the radical £1.2m plans to redevelop Boscombe
RADICAL plans to redevelop Boscombe precinct in 2014 have been unveiled by Bournemouth Council.
The £1.2 million scheme includes proposals to create a ‘shared space’ environment in Christchurch Road, at the western end of the precinct, by altering pavement and road layout, as well as introducing cycle lanes and bus priority signals.
It is intended to encourage drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to use the area together responsibly, and open up the shopping area.
The proposals, which will see the precinct revamped with improved street furniture and layout, go to public consultation on Monday.
Transportation services manager Ian Kalra said: “The precinct is looking a bit tired now, and there are issues about congestion and safety on Christchurch Road.
“We will be improving facilities for pedestrians and reducing the clutter which has built up over the years.
“Traffic management has generally been about segregation, using control to make the environment safer.
“The shared space concept is a departure from that, meaning drivers can’t just rely on signs and road markings and have to think about what they are doing.”
The proposals have been developed with Hamilton-Baillie Associates, who have introduced a shared space scheme in Poynton, Cheshire.
Work, which is due to begin early next year after the consultation feedback has been considered, will be funded through government grants – including the Three Towns Travel Local Sustainable Transport Fund – and developer contributions.
Ward councillor Jane Kelly said: “The works proposed will aim to vastly improve travelling in and around Boscombe, making it easier, safer and more attractive.
“The proposals also support the Backing Boscombe campaign to improve Boscombe as a place to live, work and visit, and I hope residents and businesses will get on board to support and put forward their suggestions.”
Information will be on display in the Sovereign Shopping Centre, Boscombe Library and Boscombe Regeneration Office in Roumelia Lane from Monday, with feedback forms for residents to submit comments.
Also, staff will be available to discuss the proposals at the library on October 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 5-7pm, and at the Sovereign Centre on October 3, 10, 17 and 24 from 11am-3pm. The consultation ends on November 1.
SHARED space involves removing traffic signals, road markings and signage, and landscaping the road and area around it so drivers have to think and drive more carefully.
As well as making the road safer for pedestrians, with courtesy crossing points highlighted, it is intended to reduce congestion by producing a slow, steady flow of traffic.
Also, the plans are intended to improve access to the Royal Arcade and make it more prominent in the street scene, and to make use of empty spaces left by demolished buildings.
Urban designer and architect Ben Hamilton-Baillie, of Hamilton-Baillie Associates, said: “Our studies showed Boscombe precinct has a pretty important social and economic function, but high streets need to be accessible to survive.
“Shared space is a very effective way of creating a safe, low speed environment and connecting the built environment with the design of the street itself.”
Examples of shared space include Exhibition Road and Seven Dials in London, and other schemes completed or under way in Bath and Bristol.
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