CIHT received a record 194 submissions this year for all the award categories so we are pleased to confirm that our project “Regent Circus, Swindon” has been shortlisted for the CIHT “Streets and Places Award”. The scheme was developed from 2010 and opened just over 12 months ago. The awards dinner will be held at the Tower of London on Thursday 9 June 2016.
The design vision was to reinforce the public realm associated with Ashfield Land’s £45 million leisure and retail development as a unified quality space for people and with a clear pedestrian link to the town centre. The adjacent gyratory system had historically been over engineered and with traffic flows of 800 vph provided a barrier for pedestrian access to the site. A fundamental component of the scheme was the removal of all traffic signal control and associated clutter of signage and street furniture. The design was developed following an early Quality Audit to consider the needs of all users. The critical design objective was low vehicle speeds, which was successfully achieved through several detailed design features. These include 10m long raised informal block paved pedestrian crossings, which provide a visual continuity for pedestrians from the adjacent public realm while providing a discontinuity for the narrowed 3.5m wide carriageway for approaching drivers. Additionally 25m long transition sections have been implemented from entry gateways with sett ramps to regulate 85 percentile speeds to 17 mph at the crossing points.
A conflict study has been undertaken by the Stage 3 Road Safety Audit Team. During the 2 hours of the evening peak no conflicts between moving vehicles and pedestrians were observed. They also recorded 83% of Eastbound drivers stopped when a pedestrian approached the crossing area to allow the pedestrian to cross.
Ashfield Land advised it was “fully supportive of the shared surface principle and is extremely pleased with the outcome which exceeds expectations… It works brilliantly….There has been a dramatic improvement to the town centre and its community pride.”