Statement by Strategic Director of Communities and Place, Christine Durrant, on the works being done in St Peters Street.
Since work started in St Peters Street last week to improve the public realm, there has been a misunderstanding in the public domain about the purpose of the works and cycling access in St Peters Street and Cornmarket.
This project is to improve the public realm in St Peters Street, install furniture zones with the ambition of allowing legalised cycling through the introduction of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO).
To improve the public realm, we are laying new paving on sections of St Peters Street from Babington Lane to Victoria Street excluding St Peters Cross.
When the paving is completed, we will be installing furniture zones. These zones will comprise benches, planters, cycle racks, a litter bin and new street lighting. The flooring of the zones will be demarcated with special paving with a slightly raised border to help the blind and partially sighted people navigate them safely.
We are not installing cycle lanes or cycle paths. It was never in our plan to install a dedicated cycle path. When the paving is completed we will look to permit cycling through St Peters Street and Cornmarket to the junction with St James’s Street, subject to a TRO to permit cycling being approved.
If the TRO is approved, signs will be erected to indicate that cycling is permitted between 5pm and 10am. These are the same hours that vehicular traffic is currently permitted. If after consultation there is a decision not to permit cycling, no signs will be erected and there will be no cycling permitted.
Consultation on the TRO has started and the schedule is:
- August – Consultation with Ward Councillors and obtain power of delegation
- September – Consultation with statutory agencies such as the Police
- November – Consultation with the public
- January – Objections considered
- March – Decision whether to make order
The current works on St Peters Street are valid and legitimate to improve the public realm and must be carried out whether or not cycling access is permitted.
Consultation was carried out with the St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) which said that the public realm work mirrored two of their key aims for the area. Together with the BID, officers of the Council and the contractors visited all affected businesses to share information about the project and to open lines of communications with the contractors and the Council.
When the TRO public consultation starts, the BID has said it will ensure that businesses are engaged in the process.
We remain available to speak with any member of the public who has concerns.