Hertfordshire County Council in partnership with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and supported by Welwyn Garden City BID are developing a scheme to enhance the area around Welwyn Garden City town centre.
The aim of the scheme is to reduce traffic circulation in the town centre, improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists and to enhance the experience for people using the town centre.
In 2014, we conducted an investigation into traffic circulation issues in Welwyn Garden City town centre.
We explored potential options for reducing traffic issues and improving the town centre experience for everyone.
Since then we've continued to develop options.
During early engagement, we consulted with local businesses, user groups, and the public in July 2017. This included two public exhibition days at the Howard Centre on the 22 and 24 July 2017. This gave us valuable feedback to help us with our plans for consultation in Spring/Summer 2018.
- Public consultation was open from 21st May to 24th June 2018 where feedback was received via an online tool and email.
- There were two public events held on 26th May and 11th June 2018.
- Some of the proposals were trailed on site with temporary traffic management and temporary traffic regulation orders from 21st May to 17th June 2018. View our trial plan (PDF 988Kb) Opening in a new window
- Consultation with stakeholder groups (councillors, officers, emergency services and user groups) were undertaken prior to the trial/public consultation.
Changes to the current street regulations will be subject to further consultation through Traffic Regulation Orders.
The consultation generated a lot of public interest with approximately even numbers who supported or opposed the scheme and supportive in part of the scheme. We received a total of 253 responses.
See the results of the consultation.
As a result of the feedback we have made some changes to the scheme, which include:
- The proposals for the southern end of Stonehills have changed in response to consultation. This part of the road will now remain open to general traffic and will include 16 parallel parking bays and an improved turning head. We’re working with WHBC to determine the appropriate mix of car parking, disabled car parking, and loading bays in this area. A taxi rank facility will not be provided in Stonehills.
- No changes are proposed for the northern end of Stonehills. This area will be closed to traffic and become a shared space for pedestrians and cyclists with improved street furniture. This space will be available for town events, markets, footpath dining, and many other opportunities.
- Pedestrian crossing points with tactile paving will be provided on raised tables at six locations around Howardsgate. Parking will be suspended at these specific locations to allow for increased visibility between pedestrians and vehicles. The existing taxi rank on Howardsgate will be retained. HCC and WHBC are working to investigate using a peak period only taxi rank to accommodate times when there are higher demands.
- On Wigmores North, we propose to extend our previous one way proposal to the John Lewis car park. This would allow contraflow cycling, improve the pedestrian crossing at the corner of the John Lewis car park, and potentially add new car parking bays.
- On Parkway, we propose to add kerb build outs on the approach to Howardsgate. This will reinforce the existing one lane layout, further reduce vehicular conflict and improve the pedestrian experience at the signalised pedestrian crossing.
- On Fretherne Road, we propose to add features and enhanced signage to reinforce the one way system.
- On Church Road, we will no longer remove the mini-roundabout to introduce running lanes with a right turn lane. However, we are investigating changes to the mini-roundabout to improve the safety performance and pedestrian accessibility. This will now be delivered as a separate safety scheme.
- The roads within the town centre will be governed by a 20 MPH speed limit zone.
· When we formally applied for the traffic regulation orders in March 2019 through the formal consultation, a number of positive responses were received along with some objections to some specific aspects of the scheme. As a result, the Authority is proposing to modify the Order to incorporate the concerns of any objections received.
· What’s Next
The proposed scheme layout and associated traffic regulation order has been modified to address the concerns raised. The original proposal was to remove the taxi rank from Fretherne Road and to relocate it in two sections onto Howardsgate one part being a permanent taxi rank the other being a part time taxi rank covering peak hours only while outside of these hours offering on street parking places. It is therefore proposed to modify the Orders as follows: -
• The existing taxi rank will now remain on Fretherne Road in a similar location to existing but will be located adjacent to the current southbound lane of the carriageway
• The remaining Traffic Regulations Orders published on 26 February 2019 are unaffected by this modification.
A general arrangement drawing showing the existing layout, March 2019 proposal and future scheme can be seen here.
We would like to thank you for your feedback, which has helped inform the scheme.
We are currently progressing the detailed design.
We expect to start construction after the completion of statutory consultation and after the 2020 centenary celebrations.
We will strive to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum. All accesses to businesses will be maintained.