Mossy Life

An “ambitious and exciting” plan for transforming how people travel in and around Shrewsbury over the next 10 years and beyond has been launched.

Latest update from Shropshire Council Newsroom:

Developed by the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership, the ‘Shrewsbury Moves’ strategy includes a raft of proposals to reduce through-traffic, improve public space and encourage people to spend longer in the town centre.

Introducing the strategy, the partnership, which is made up of Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury BID (Business Improvement District), said:-

“Shrewsbury Moves demonstrates our commitment and ambitious vision for improving movement throughout the town. Our ultimate goal is to make Shrewsbury one of the most inclusive, accessible and economically vibrant towns in the UK.”

The Shrewsbury Moves 10-year strategy follows the publication of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Masterplan Vision in 2021, and outlines a range of innovative ways of improving the town centre environment.

Among the key proposals in the strategy are:-

  • The introduction of traffic loops to reduce the amount of traffic driving through the town centre.
  • Prioritising public transport with a two-way bus corridor through the town centre making buses quicker and easier to use.
  • Incentivising the use of car parks on the edge of the town centre, and the use of an extended and improved Park & Ride service, along with more public bus services.
  • The creation of more public spaces, such as creating new town squares and improving the gateways to the town centre.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet representative on the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership, said the strategy contained some exciting proposals.

He said:-

“This strategy has been developed by industry-leading transport, engineering and placemaking consultants, PJA, following a huge amount of discussion and debate with community groups, councillors and businesses.

“It’s ambitious and exciting, and some of the proposals might be surprising, but I would urge everyone to take the time to consider them and how they would impact the town centre.

“As is made clear throughout the strategy, we are not talking about closing roads to traffic, it’s about considering a different approach to the way people travel in and around Shrewsbury.

“Shrewsbury is already a wonderful place to live, visit and work in – this strategy presents some really interesting ways of making it even better, now and in the future.”

Shrewsbury Town Council’s representative on the Big Town Plan Partnership, Alan Mosley, Leader, said improving the town centre environment was in everyone’s best interests:-

“During the public discussion around the Big Town Plan’s Masterplan Vision in 2021, it was abundantly clear that people wanted to see a change in the way we all move in and around the town.

“People felt that there was too much through-traffic and the streets were dominated by cars, resulting in poor air quality and at times a noisy, unpleasant environment.

“We have seen the success of the low traffic trial, where traffic is restricted from the centre of town on Saturdays and Sundays, enabling a pavement cafe culture to flourish.

“This strategy provides a variety of ways to build on that success – reclaiming the streets for pedestrians and cyclists, giving priority to public transport and making the town centre more inviting for everyone.”

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said maintaining access for businesses whilst reducing traffic congestion was a key consideration throughout the development of the strategy.

He said:-

“We are excited about the prospect of improving public transport and developing more public spaces to encourage people to spend more time in the centre of Shrewsbury, which naturally has a positive impact on the local economy.

“We also appreciate that people still need the option of driving into town and businesses will always need to receive deliveries and other servicing access, and the strategy suggests ways of doing that differently in the future.

“We would urge businesses to take some time to engage with the upcoming consultation so they can share their views with a full understanding of the proposals.”

A major consultation is due to start on Friday January 26, with a town trail and interactive website explaining the strategy and asking for feedback, along with displays in St Mary’s Church in the town centre which will share information and give people the opportunity to get involved.

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet is to discuss this initiative at its meeting on Wednesday 17 January 2024 – click here for the report.

Quoted from Shropshire Council’s online newsroom. Original article can be found here: Big Town Plan Partnership launches Shrewsbury Moves: A 10-year vision for movement and public space in Shrewsbury – Shropshire Council Newsroom

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Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot