The consultation has now concluded.
WHAT IS THE CONSULTATION ABOUT?
The Tower Road Streetscape Proposals cover the public highway between ‘C’ Bridge and the junction with Rendell Street.
Tower Road is one of three north south routes across East Float. It connects Seacombe. Wallasey and neighbourhoods to the north of the Docks with Birkenhead Town Centre, Woodside and Hamilton Square, and serves local businesses and the Irish Ferry.
The existing streetscape – the pavements, carriageways and pedestrian refuges that make up the street – were constructed in the 1990’s and are now dated.
As new development is beginning to be delivered, it is now considered an appropriate time to look at how Tower Road may be improved to suit the needs of existing and new businesses and users.
Initial proposals have been drafted and funding has been secured, from the DfT National Productivity Investment Fund, through the joint working of the Peel Wirral Waters Team and Wirral Council.
Proposals are being presented as part of this stage of Consultation. We would like to hear your thoughts and views on ideas to date and how Tower Road and Four Bridges may be improved.
WHY ARE THE CHANGES NEEDED?
Tower Road has changed in response to changes in the Docklands and the growth of Inner Wirral. Tower Road started life as a street within the Dock Estate and later became part of the Inner Wirral highway network.
More recently, in the 1990’s Tower Road was reconstructed as a wider road with the aim of getting vehicles and pedestrians across East Float and into/out of the Irish Ferry Terminal.
This was in most part due to the long standing absence of any buildings and activities fronting onto Tower Road, as historically the sites either side have been vacant or used for temporary operational port activities.
As such, to date – pedestrians, cars and freight vehicles have been ‘passing through’ on their way to somewhere else.
Looking to the future, Tower Road and Four Bridges is a focus for investment, job creation and training as part of the Wirral Waters proposals.
To create an attractive and accessible setting to attract new workers, students and visitors – changes are needed to address barriers to investment and activity. Key barriers to be addressed are:
Looking to the Future
Tower Road is a focus for major investment, job creation and training as part of the Wirral Waters proposals.
Delivery has started with new buildings and occupiers including the Wirral Met College (Construction Training) and the Contact Company (Offices).
Over the next 5 years, projects to be completed at Four Bridges include: Egerton Village, No 1 Tower Road South, Maritime Knowledge Hub, and the StreetCar Project – extending the existing tram connection (running from Woodside to Egerton Bridge) to Tower Road.
The Tower Road Streetscape Project is being progressed to create a high quality, safe, attractive street to attract new businesses, workers, students and visitors and ensure that existing businesses are provided for.
The aims of the Tower Road Streetscape Project are to:
• Deliver a distinctive streetscape that demonstrates a change in direction to strengthen the confidence of potential investors and occupiers.
• Provide for the increasing numbers of pedestrians and cyclists crossing Tower Road.
• Support growth, new jobs and learning by creating a safe, attractive street that encourages investment, occupancy, activity and ‘dwell time’.
• Improve health and well being by encouraging walking, cycling and the use of high quality public transport services, and providing green streets with safe places to meet and dwell.
• Ensure that the needs of existing businesses are provided for.
• Create an inclusive street that provides for all ranges of mobility.
• Make it easier for people to find their way around and increase the sense of safety and direction.
• Reducing speeding and ‘chasing the green light’.
• Deliver a flexible street that is able to adapt and respond to the future scale of development and activity set out in the Wirral Waters Masterplan.
• Deliver a resilient and cost effective street than ca respond to future changes and stages of growth.
HOW HAVE PROPOSALS BEEN DEVELOPED?
Proposals have been developed by Wirral Council and the Wirral Waters Team working in partnership.
This has included looking at other ‘precedent projects’ where streetscape works have helped to create a stronger sense of identity and greater priority for people walking and cycling, using public transport and joining in activities and events in the street.
Site visits – to see how other projects have been designed and how well they are working – have informed the proposals.
The starting point was looking at how to balance the needs of people passing along Tower Road ‘en route’ to other places with the emerging need for much greater priority for people walking and cycling to Four Bridges, crossing Tower Road and meeting and using the new meeting places.
WHAT IS PROPOSED?
The proposed approach narrows the carriageways to a single lane either way. This slows traffic and still allows all sizes of vehicles to pass long Tower Road.
The proposals provide wider pavements to allow more space for people to walk and cycle. The wider pavements and carriageway are separated by kerb lines. This provides a navigation aid for blind and partially sighted pedestrians, and a clear delineation to keep motor vehicles in the carriageway.
For cyclists, the approach is two-fold. Cyclists choosing to pass through Tower Road at speed will share the carriageway with other vehicles. Cyclists choosing to pass through Tower Road at slower, walking pace speeds will be able to share the wider pavements with pedestrians.
The proposed pavement materials and planting will match the completed Wirral Met College paving and planting.
Key Design Principles are:
In November 2018 a public consultation exercise was launched from the Wirral Waters office that ran until December 19th. Members of the public and stakeholders were invited to view the proposals and make comment in person and/or through a web page and email address.
Works are due to start on site in Autumn 2019 and be complete by Summer 2020.
Disruption to road users and local businesses will be minimised during the works by targeted traffic management and fully signed way-finding.