This update on the Access Theme improvements looks forward to the next few weeks and on to the end of the works, scheduled for the end of November.
On Tuesday 13th October the road running east-west through the park from the East Gate/Civic Centre entrance to the Seldown/town centre end will re-open. Vehicle exit should be via the Seldown end only. This follows the extensive work to complete the full-depth reconstruction of the road from the Seldown entrance through to the roundabout (photo above).
Along with new kerb lines, tree pits, new arrangements to give pedestrians priority at Westfield car park and around the fountain area, the contractors have also undertaken extra work to completely renew large lengths of drainage infrastructure and deal with significant soft spots beneath the road that required additional work.
In the last few weeks work has taken place to create new ‘build-outs’ opposite the Ark and at the War Memorial, these provide new crossing points and will reduce vehicle speed and dominance through the park, see photos below.
Also from the 13th October the section of road within the park on Whitecliff Road will close for vehicle use, this is the road from the roundabout to the gate piers near Twemlow Avenue, which will be locked. Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to enter and travel through the park, with safety fencing in place near the roundabout and signage in place both inside and outside the park.
This closure is essential to allow the swift and safe completion of the works to these junctions, removing the roundabout and installing new shared surfaces and continuous foot-ways similar to those already completed in earlier phases.
From Tuesday 2nd November, after half term, the East Gate/Civic Centre entrance will be closed to all users to allow the new raised table, surfacing and other works to take place. Vehicle access to The Ark car park will remain open at all times and pedestrian diversion signs will be in place.
These works are expected to take up to 2 weeks and the road and pedestrian entrances will be re-opened as soon as possible.
The whole programme is scheduled to conclude at the end of November following the planting of trees and installation of new furniture such as benches, lights, cycle stands and the landscaping of adjacent areas.
The swale around the cricket pitch has also been created which is taking water away from the cycle track (photos below: 1. under normal conditions, 2. following last weekend’s deluge but within a day had subsided).
If you would like to know more about why we have created this drainage feature please keep an eye out for a follow-up news article next week. As ever we are grateful for your patience during these works.