As a local and a local business to Chepstow there's always a great deal of discussion about the death of the high street, traffic problems and various other issues that affect our small town.
In the spirit of having a bit of fun, and a to promote a bit of alternative "go big or go home" thinking, I've pulled together a suggestion on how the town centre could be re-worked.
Its a small image so here's a link to the full scale image.
To explain a bit further, here's the thinking about the ideas:
Lets make it clear, I'm not a roads planner, and this is for fun / thought.
1) The town cannot reduce the amount of routes available to traffic
2) Shops, pubs etc still need to have deliveries
3) Variety of trips i.e. banking, Greggs take out through to shopping trips
4) Cars are still very much a feature of the town
1) Improve access to businesses above and below the Town Arch
2) Reduce overall vehicle movements using the High Street as a route through
3) Make the Town Centre more of a shared space
3) Increase short term (30 minute), Very Short Term (10min) parking
4) Improve traffic flows out of the centre
Starting at the A48 Moor Street Junction and going down hill
1) A48 / Moor Street Junction - Provide a Left-hand and Right-hand Turn Lane onto A48
- Turn right must be suitable for coaches / buses
- Remove the parking bays
- Widen / adjust the road
- Gives the best possible chance for traffic to clear (towards the Forest of Dean)
2) Create a Gyratory - Turn Moor Street and Thomas Street (Bus Station) into a Gyratory
- Remove the give-way by Merricks Pharmacy
- Add a give-way on Moor Street as you come from the A48 by Merricks
- Add three lanes at the bottom of Thomas Street
- Left to Welsh Street
- Left to High Street
- Right onto Gyratory
3) Gyratory: Add Parking - Add parking on the side of the road round the gyratory (20 Spaces)
4) Welsh Street / Moor Street - Traffic Light Controlled Junction
- Lets go all American and allow a Give Way Left Turn onto Welsh Street from Moor Street.
- Gets traffic heading out on Welsh Street moving
5) Welsh Street / Dell Carpark Junction - Re-prioritise the junction so traffic down Welsh Street Gives way to traffic heading into the Dell Car Park.
- Traffic heading up Welsh Street see's no real change
- Hashed yellow box junction to improve visibility turning right from Dell Car Park.
- Hashed yellow box junction prevents Welsh Street traffic blocking the right turn.
6) Restrict Vehicles passing under the arch to 6m (or whatever works best) except buses
7) High Street / Bank Street - Reprioritise
- Downhill High Street becomes a bus lane between 9am and 6pm (allows pub deliveries)
- Downhill Bank Street takes standard traffic (10mph limit?), 6m limit
- Uphill is parking bays (10 minute) with passing points (use bus lane to pass parked vehicles)
8) Upper Nelson Street (Part 1) - Create 30 minute parking, and retail frontages to show off our High Street to the A48
9) Upper Nelson Street (Part 2) - Extend Upper Nelson Street to join Beaufort Square
- Possibly close the A48 to Beaufort Square downhill junction
Here's a couple of "bonus" suggestions which may / may not be practical.
10) Create provision for the Mounton Road one way to be reversed
- This could be done with digital signs / via police
- Cars only (6m limit (see above))
- Could it provide an emergency relief route
11) When the High Street is closed, disable the Archway Traffic Lights
All of the above could probably be achieved with minimum outlay, and then some phased improvements, but I don't know. Long-term once the traffic situation is fixed there may even be options for pedestrianisation above and below the arch... Who knows!
As I say I don't know if this is right, whether it would really work, but in the absence of other ideas it might be better. Have a think!