What’s included in the project?
The plan is to reintroduce northbound traffic to the northern end of Worcester Street, improving the junction with Blackwell Street, Coventry Street, Marlborough Street and Prospect Hill, improve footways, Install new street furniture, introduce street trees and improve access for cyclists.
Why will the traffic be one-way northbound ("uphill")?
A northbound one-way flow compliments the southbound one-way flow on Prospect Hill, creating a Kidderminster Town Centre 'loop' which opens up the entire eastern side of the town centre for future redevelopment. The uphill flow also has a natural traffic-calming effect. The northbound flow also limits the usefulness of this route as a 'rat run', the aim being that whilst it will provide much better access to the Town Centre, it will not create a congestion/air quality problem.
Why are you doing the scheme?
The purpose of the scheme is to improve accessibility for all forms of transport including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as well as improving the quality of the public realm. This will help regenerate the eastern side of the town centre and is complementary to the proposed Lion Fields mixed use development.
How will reintroducing traffic increase "footfall"?
There are some specific improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, however, the reintroduction of traffic significantly improves Worcester Street's and the neighbouring Lion Fields' commercial viability and this in turn should attract new retail, leisure and residential developments and therefore increased footfall.
Who is promoting the scheme and why?
The scheme is being delivered by Worcestershire County Council and supported by Wyre Forest District Council. It is a key component of the ReWyre initiative which includes an ambitious plan to regenerate Kidderminster Town Centre. Significant public realm improvements have already been carried out in the town centre that have resulted in increased economic activity. The Worcester Street scheme will not only improve the immediate environment be it will also support neighbouring developments that will be put into place in partnership with the private sector.
How is the project funded?
The project is being funded by Worcestershire County Council and Wyre Forest District Council and a bid has been submitted to the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership for additional funds.
The project includes significant improvements to the highway, so shouldn't the County Council pay for it?
The County Council has a duty to maintain the highway, however, the scheme includes a number of elements that are the responsibility of Wyre Forest District Council which is why the two authorities are jointly sponsoring and funding it.
Wouldn't it be better to use the available funds to reduce or remove car park charges?
Wyre Forest District Council considers the charges it makes on car parks every year as part of its budget setting process and there is already free parking for the first hour on the Bromsgrove Street car park which is the nearest car park to Worcester Street. Some free short-stay spaces are included as part of the scheme.
When is the work due to start and finish?
A contractor has been appointed and work is due to start in mid/late October and to be completed by Autumn 2019.
Will there be more parking places in Worcester Street when the scheme is completed?
Nominally, there are 5 spaces currently in Marlborough Street that are being lost, but the scheme will see the creation of approximately 12 free short-stay (30 minutes) parking spaces along Worcester Street, 5 loading spaces and around 4 disabled spaces, which is a significant improvement on what is there currently.
Will I be able to shop in Worcester Street while the work is taking place/will my business be able to receive deliveries?
Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times and our contractor will work closely with businesses to ensure that their normal activities are affected as little as possible.
Wouldn't it be better to just reduce business rates?
Business Rates are set by the Valuation Office Agency and not by the County or District Councils. Some businesses could be eligible for Business Rate Relief and more information about this is available on the Government’s website (link opens in a new window)
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