Plans to help future proof Keynsham town centre by making its High Street more attractive and accessible for everyone are to be discussed by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet when it meets today (Wed 6 Feb).
Last year the council published plans to enhance the public realm in Keynsham, building on the introduction of the one-way system in the High Street.
Keynsham has been declared an Air Quality Management Area because of high nitrogen dioxide levels from traffic. High Street air quality has been improved to safe levels as a direct result of the change to traffic flow
and the town centre is no longer above the maximum legal limit in any location, which otherwise may have required implementation of a Clean Air Zone.
Plans to improve the town centre have now been refined in response to the feedback received from residents, local businesses and stakeholders during a recent six –week consultation and technical and safety auditing.
Councillor Paul Myers, cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “Across the UK high streets are struggling. We want to ensure our local high streets thrive. Improving Keynsham town centre’s streets and spaces will make shopping, doing business and visiting the town a more pleasant experience which in turn will help to strengthen the local economy. We have listened to residents, taken on board their comments and updated and revised our plans accordingly."
“This project forms part of our ongoing commitment to invest in our town centres including Midsomer Norton and Bath city centre.”
Councillor Charles Gerrish, cabinet member for Finance and Efficiency, added: “These public realm improvements form one of the many initiatives, including the £10m refurbishment of the leisure centre and the 95 new riverside homes that will help future proof the economy of the centre of our town as Keynsham continues to grow.”
The revised plans include:
- Further widening of pavements and changes to pedestrian crossings to maximise safety and improve ease of use, particularly for people with disabilities.
- Installing new lighting in the passageways linking the High Street to Ashton Way and Memorial Park.
- Clearly segregating the proposed cycle “contra-flow” lane to aid visually impaired people.
- Upgrading the signal controlled crossings on Charlton Road and at the top of Bath Hill.
- Enlarging the High Street bus stop and shelter and making it more accessible for Dial-a-Ride passengers in wheelchairs.
- Providing more seating next to the High Street and Ashton Way bus stops.
- Refining High Street car parking spaces for disabled people to improve ease of access.
- Maximising opportunities for tree planting to further improve air quality in the Conservation Area.
If the new proposals are approved the council will submit a full business case to the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for a £1.5 million grant in March 2019. This would be supplemented by £193,000 Section 106 funding. If the funding bid is successful it is expected improvement works would begin in spring 2020.
For more information visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/keynsham