In the coming four weeks residents and businesses are being asked for feedback on plans for the next stage of High Wycombe Masterplan’s alternative route through the town centre.
It’s the second phase in the joint scheme by Buckinghamshire County and Wycombe District Councils and the Local Enterprise Partnership to give traffic an alternative route through the town centre from Oxford Road to Marlow Hill.
Work on the £2.7 million Phase Two, from Westbourne Street, through Desborough Road to Lily’s Walk, is due to start in late August 2016 and be finished in summer 2017.
Before work starts Buckinghamshire County Council is seeking views from traders, residents and businesses through a display in Wycombe Library until Saturday 9th July 2016, a residents’ drop-in, a business breakfast and shopping centre events.
The business breakfast from 8.00am to 10.00am and a residents’ drop-in from 4.00pm to 8.00pm, both on Tuesday 21st June 2016, will be held at the Arts4Every1 Centre, Desborough Road. Meet-the-public events in the Eden Centre, near Starbucks, are scheduled between 11.00am and 3.00pm on Saturday 25th June 2016 and Tuesday 28th June 2016.
The scheme will use similar designs to Phase One, which opened in December 2015 creating the new Oxford Road/Westbourne Street junction and featuring redesigned low-profile traffic lanes with central strips to slow traffic and keep it flowing.
The 520 metre scheme for Desborough Road aims to keep traffic flowing without traffic lights or conventional roundabouts, and with fewer signs and white lines.
Once Phase Two is finished in summer 2017 work will begin on the final phases of the alternative route, including a new link road through the old gas works site to Suffield Road, and improvements along Queen Alexandra Road to the Abbey Way gyratory.
The total cost of the Wycombe Masterplan is £14.53 million, of which £8.5m comes from Government money sourced by Buckinghamshire and Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP), £5.3m from Wycombe District Council and just over half a million pounds from the County Council.
Mark Shaw, County Council Transport Cabinet Member said it was important to listen to the feedback from residents and businesses.
‘This is about the safety and security of people who use the roads through High Wycombe’s busy town centre, and we want to make sure we get this right,’ said Mark. ‘As always we’re tendering very carefully to ensure we get best value for money with this phase.‘
David Johncock, Wycombe’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability, said: ‘Work on the next phase puts another piece in place for the alternative route which will give people a choice in how to get across town both on foot and by car. It will eventually help to make the centre much more pedestrian friendly, will help make High Wycombe a more attractive town, and will greatly improve the leisure and shopping experience.‘
Richard Harrington, BTVLEP Chief Executive, said: ‘Following the recent granting of business case approval for this £8.5m Local Growth Deal Funded project by our Board, we are pleased to see this scheme, which will have a major impact on improving and regenerating High Wycombe town centre, progressing.‘
Richard added: ‘This scheme has benefited from close partnership working between Wycombe District Council, BTVLEP, and Buckinghamshire County Council to ensure that the best and most cost effective approach to the redevelopment of town centre and subsequent economic growth for the area is delivered.‘