City of Wolverhampton Council’s Westside Link proposal forms part of the city’s Connected Places strategy.
It will limit traffic flows through the city centre core, providing a unique opportunity to create a series of safe and attractive spaces that will allow the city to host varied events.
The designs take account of the need for the city, like many across the UK, to move away from being primarily a retail destination.
The scheme will provide improved pedestrian access from the Interchange through the city centre core to the £55 million leisure-led Westside development, which will include a multi-screen cinema.
An exhibition will be held at the Civic Centre weekdays from Monday, October 8 until Friday, October 26, between 9am and 4.30pm, and at the Mander Centre on Saturday, October 13, between 10am and 3pm.
The exhibition will showcase the proposals, provide the opportunity to speak to the project leads and give feedback.
You can also view the plans at www.investwolverhampton.com/westsidelink. Comments can be made by completing the survey at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/westsidelink, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, writing to Ruth Taylor, City Development, Civic Centre, St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1RP, or completing a comment card at the exhibition. The closing date for comments is Friday 2 November 2018.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “We are rethinking and re-imagining our city centre. “These plans will transform it and make it a much more enjoyable place for residents and visitors. I would urge as many people as possible to view the proposals and provide their feedback to help us shape the details of the scheme.”
The works will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will cover Victoria Street, Skinner Street, Salop Street and School Street, and is expected to run from May 2019 to December 2019. It will include the removal of the existing roadway and the creation of a new public square.
The second phase incorporates Queen Square, Lichfield Street, Cheapside, Exchange Street and Darlington Street and is planned to run from January 2020 and July 2021. This phase will see the removal of the roadway through Queen Square and Lichfield Street, the creation of a new city square formed around the Prince Albert statue to provide an event space, and the inclusion of mature trees to create an attractive green space within the city centre.
Across both phases car parking will not be reduced by the scheme and existing and new car parking will be well positioned for events and activities; disabled parking will be re-accommodated in existing city centre car parks and on-street; bus routes will be redirected, and new bus stops provided; and the existing taxi rank in Victoria Street will be relocated onto School Street or Darlington Street.
The proposal is expected to reduce vacancy rates in the city centre, create jobs and bring in more money to the city economy through a combination of improved retail/leisure activity, as well as produce high-quality public realm imperative to city living expansion and hotel delivery.
The scheme will be supported by funding from a combination of Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, West Midlands Combined Authority, Defra-Air Quality, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport - Smart City, Events City and match funding.