The City Council is moving ahead with plans to introduce red routes across the city – and has made some revisions to its original proposals following a successful public consultation exercise.
The council announced in September it was looking to put red routes on key roads in the city in Cobridge, Burslem, Tunstall, Longton, Fenton, Stoke and Joiner’s Square in an effort to tackle congestion and inconsiderate parking, improve road safety and keep the city moving.
After carefully listening to views received from the public, and following five specially arranged consultation events, a number of key alterations to the original plans have now been made. The most significant of these sees plans for red routes in town centres withdrawn – following a detailed review of feedback from traders, residents and other groups – to ensure the council continues to support local businesses and communities. The proposals withdrawn from town centres are as follows:
- Burslem: Market Place and Moorland Road (from Price Street to Jackson Street);
- Tunstall: Williamson Street and High Street;
- Longton: The Strand and Transport Lane;
- Stoke: Church Street, Londsdale Street, Fleming Road, Campbell Place, Hartshill Road and Shelton Old Road.
This now means red routes totalling 6.5 miles are currently proposed on the following roads, subject to a final statutory consultation stage which launches today (Friday, Dec 14) until Friday, January 11:
- Waterloo Road, Cobridge, from Vale Place (Hanley) to Swan Square (Burslem);
- Wedgwood Street (Burslem), Scotia Road (Tunstall) and High Street (Sandyford);
- Commerce Street, Market Street and King Street in Longton;
- City Road and Victoria Road (from Victoria Place to Dewsbury Road), Fenton;
- Leek Road (from Joiners Square to City Road), College Road (from Avenue Road to Station Road) and Station Road.
Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “We carried out an extensive public consultation on our initial proposals and we got a really good level of engagement from the public, which is exactly what we wanted. It wasn’t just a tick box exercise – we’re a listening council and we’ve responded to a range of suggestions and concerns with the revised plans. On a project of this scale, it’s important we work with residents and businesses to minimise any potential disruption.
“We’re now ready to push ahead with the red routes and hold the formal, statutory consultation on our final choices. One of the main complaints I get from residents is about parking on yellow lines and the impact it causes. These red routes are all about making sure road users can get across the city as quickly as possible in a safe manner. Delays to journeys cost businesses and commuters both time and money, and congestion in our city is often caused by inconsiderate and illegal parking on the roads. Our city is changing in size and shape, standing still isn’t an option, we must change too. Red routes allow us to deliver an improved network solution.”
James Smith, manager at the ExtraCare Charitable Trust shop on High Street, Tunstall, was one of those who took part in the consultation. He said: “We’re really pleased the council has listened to what we had to say. We believed the original proposals for a red route on High Street in Tunstall would have affected our deliveries, so it’s fantastic the council has been prepared to seriously consider the feedback it has received and taken it all on board. It’s been a genuine consultation.”
Proposals to remove bus lanes in Stoke town centre and The Strand, in Longton, were also included in the initial consultation. It followed a review of road space taken up by bus lanes, and whether that space could be better used by all road users. In addition to these, the council is now proposing to remove bus lanes on:
- Waterloo Road (Cobridge) – The space would be reallocated to provide an extra lane for traffic heading towards Burslem town centre at the busiest times of the day. Outside of peak hours, it would be used for new loading and parking facilities.
- Werrington Road (Werrington) – bus lane removed and reallocated for use by all traffic, reducing congestion and improving journey times for all users on this route.
- High Street (Tunstall) – The bus lane in Tunstall High Street is proposed to be removed and replaced with a very short length of bus lane, located just south of the Woodland Street junction. This would still prevent traffic from using the High Street as a short cut whilst allowing additional parking bays to be proposed on the High Street to assist businesses. Farndale Street is proposed to become One Way towards High Street with a banned right turn into High Street to prevent it being used as a short-cut. Traffic calming measures are proposed in Wesley Street to reduce vehicle speeds.
Cllr Jellyman added: “Simple changes can help to alleviate congestion. So far we’ve removed two bus lanes in the city, and removing the ones on Waterloo Road and High Street, in Tunstall, will give us the additional benefit of extra parking without affecting traffic flows in those areas. I think the combined red route and bus lane scheme we have on the table now is the best way forward for motorists, businesses and residents.”
The revised proposals for red routes and the bus lane removals are available to view on the council’s website at www.stoke.gov.uk/redroutes.