21st Aug, 2019

Civic society slams county council for lack of options to improve Church Street in Great Malvern

Craig Gibbons 3rd Jan, 2018 Updated: 3rd Jan, 2018

CHIEFS at the town’s civic society have expressed their disappointment over the lack of options put forward by Worcestershire County Council to improve Church Street in Great Malvern.

The county’s highways experts are proposing to make improvements to the appearance of the road to improve access to premises, improve traffic flow and make the area look better.

One of the options is to make no changes to the existing traffic arrangements while option two makes one-way traffic eastbound to reduce congestion as well as offering wider paths for pedestrians.

However, this prohibits travel westbound on Church Street which would increase journey times as well as turning movements to get onto the A449 at the Abbey Road junction.

Two public consultation events were held last month but Clive Hooper, chairman of the Malvern Civic Society, fears each option will not solve the problems on Church Street.

“There was disappointment that the county council only put forward for public consultation two of the options which it had under consideration,” he said.

“The civic society takes the view that both of these options as presented have significant limitations.

“Option two is heavily flawed as it fails to address the ramifications of the introduction of a one-way traffic system on adjacent roads, most particularly upon Graham Road bearing in mind its use as a bus route.

“It was agreed, therefore, that option one was preferred, but with qualifications that an overall speed restriction of 20mph, together with a loading and unloading time restriction should be introduced.”

“Traffic calming arrangements should also be constructed by adjustments to pavement layouts and other measures.”

He added the closure to vehicles on the section of Abbey Road from the post office to the Abbey arch should not be included as it removed a valuable short-term parking spot.

Coun Ken Pollock, cabinet member with responsibility for economy and infrastructure, said a feasibility study was carried out in 2016 to assess each of the various options for Church Street which had been put forward by members of the public over time.

A traffic and access report was then drawn up to assess those options.

“As the highways authority for Worcestershire, the county council had analysed this report and concluded only two options were realistically deliverable, namely no change to traffic or one-way traffic downhill, both with associated public realm improvements,” he added.

“The scheme aims to improve traffic and accessibility, while supporting the local economy and the other options that were discounted would fail to achieve these aims sufficiently.”

What do you think about the plans for Church Street? Email your thoughts to editor@malvernobserver.co.uk.

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