Changes to road network unveiled
THE final list of changes to the city centres road network have been unveiled.
The shake-up of Hanley's highways, the biggest upheaval in nearly 25 years, is needed to accommodate the city's new £15 million bus station.
After five months of consultation, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has put forward 15 key changes to help buses get to and from the station, and to provide stops close to main shops.
The changes include:
Making Foundry Street, Lower Foundry Street and part of Trinity Street one-way to improve traffic circulation and to allow more space for on-street parking and loading;
Meigh Street will be made two-way to improve the exit routes from Meigh Street car park;
The taxi rank in Stafford Street will be moved to the west side of the road to allow for bus stops and loading facilities for businesses on the east side;
New zebra crossings will be installed in Stafford Street, Pall Mall, Town Road and Quadrant Road.
Peter Bradbury, the city council's city centre bus rerouting project manager, said: "The proposed changes are mainly needed because of the relocation of the bus station and the need to reroute buses. But the opportunity to improve the public realm and to extend the pedestrianised areas in the city centre means that other changes were also included.
"As a result of the feedback from that consultation, and other comments and discussions over the past four months, we have made a number of changes to the proposals."
Most of the changes will not be introduced until the new bus routes come into force in January.
However, some restrictions could come in before then to allow for planned public realm improvements in Albion Square, Percy Street and Tontine Street.
Other changes include reversing the flow of traffic on Percy Street, Tontine Street, Stafford Street and Parliament Row.
And more disabled bays will be provided in Old Hall Street, Huntbach Street, Burton Place, Goodson Street and Foundry Street to make up for the loss of bays in Tontine Street, Percy Street and Stafford Street.
Shoppers hope the changes will improve Hanley as a shopping destination.
David Burns, aged 28, who lives in Kidsgrove, said: "Hanley has needed a new bus station for years and it's good to see it's finally getting one.
"I can understand them having to change some of the roads because there's no point in having a new bus station if buses can't get to it easily enough."
Pat Simon, aged 49, who lives in Cheadle, said: "I get the number 32 bus to Hanley from Cheadle and it's going to be a lot nicer having a new bus station to wait in. It can't open soon enough for the good of Hanley."
Contractors have now moved into the final phase of constructing the station.
The opening was postponed from autumn until January after workmen had to fill in previously unidentified underground basements.