Urgent improvements to parts of Southport town centre are on the way through the first phase of the £12.75milion ‘Les Transformations de Southport’ scheme.
The first roads targeted for a new look will be: Chapel Street, Eastbank Street, Market Street and King Street.
It will see Market Street closed to traffic to support the growth of businesses in the area, King Street becoming a one way street and a revamp for Chapel Street.
The project aims to “improve the atmosphere, prosperity and health of the town by providing better access and connections across the town centre”
The £2.5million funding for phase one has been provided through Southport Town Deal, which is also supporting the creation of the new Marine Lake Events Centre, the water and light show in Marine Lake, and the new Southport Enterprise Arcade.
The improvements will see:
(1) – Installation of new, high quality paving, new lighting, seating, planting and improvements to street furniture on Market Street
(2) – Widening of the footway and installation of high quality paving, lighting, planting and improvements to street furniture on King Street
(3) Installation of improved pedestrian crossing facilities, widening of a section of the footway and installation of high quality paving, planting and improvements to street furniture on Eastbank Street
(4) Removal of ‘street clutter’ and improvements to street furniture on Chapel Street.
This area was identified as the first phase of the project because of the need to enhance Chapel Street and the links with the refurbished Southport Market and the proposed Enterprise Arcade, another of the Town Deal projects.
Consultation on the proposals was carried out in February and March 2022, with publicity provided through Stand Up For Southport and other channels. .
In his report to Sefton Council, Assistant Director of Place (Highways and Public Protection) Peter Moore said: “Following the successful submission of Southport’s Town Investment Plan (TIP), under the government’s Town Deal funding programme, Southport was allocated £37.5m for a range of projects. One of the projects included was Les Transformations de Southport.
“The provision of infrastructure to underpin economic growth was one of the three themes of the Town Investment Plan for Southport and this project provides the transport and public realm infrastructure needed to support the ambition of the Town Fund and the changing patterns of travel demand and movement around the town.
“The overall project is expected to cost approximately £12.75m and £2.5m of funding has been allocated from the Town Deal to enable the delivery of the first phase of the project. Additional funding will be sought for the further stages of the project.
“The project aims to improve the atmosphere, prosperity and health of the town by providing better access and connections across the town centre, linking all the Town Deal projects and making it easier, safer and more enjoyable for people to get about the town.
“This means that all the parts of the town are better connected with each other, that people enjoy the town more and stay longer and that the town’s businesses are able to grow and develop and attract new investment into the town.
“In practice, the project will consist of access, connectivity and public realm improvements on key routes connecting the major development proposals (Marine Lake Events Centre, Enterprise Arcade and Southport Market) with the railway station, together with a new comprehensive signing and wayfinding system.
“The vision for the Les Transformations project is to create accessible and well connected high quality public spaces, providing priority for people walking and cycling and those with limited mobility in support of clean growth.
“This will support businesses in attracting and retaining customers, improve the health and wellbeing of communities, encourage people to stay longer or return more frequently and thereby reinforce the vision for the town.”
Key objectives of the project are:
- Define a consistent and high quality look and feel for street design in Southport
- Develop a framework street design that will deliver natural wayfinding between key destinations within the town centre
- Support the natural wayfinding with a high quality, effective and modern physical and digital wayfinding system
- Redress the balance between place and movement on key streets to reduce traffic domination and create the conditions across the town centre where walking and cycling is safe, simple and attractive
- Improve the accessibility of the town for everyone by reducing or removing barriers and severance, especially for people with limited mobility
- Improve pedestrian and cycling routes both in the town centre and waterfront and between the town centre and the waterfront
- Create a town centre environment that promotes enhanced public health and wellbeing
- Increase footfall, dwell time and expenditure within the town centre