Basildon Town Centre: Highway and Regeneration Improvements
Essex County Council is pleased to announce a range of proposals to improve the highway and public realm within the Basildon Town Centre. Basildon Borough Council and Basildon Town Centre Management Company are already making a number of improvements to the Town Centre environment, which currently includes new paving and enhanced market within the area. Essex County Council was successful in acquiring Local Growth Funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) for highway related improvements, which will complement the works already being undertaken.
In 2012 Basildon Borough Council adopted a Masterplan for the Town Centre, which sets out the Council’s vision for the area, and the highway improvement proposals are a key part of delivering this vision. The highway improvements represent £6.2m of investment into the Town Centre.
Basildon Borough Council has secured £9.7 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to enable and support housing development within the town centre. This further complements the Basildon Town Centre Masterplan and the highway improvements to make a positive impact to the town centre environment. Key projects identified include the redevelopment of the former Post Office Block for mixed use development, increases in car park capacity and public realm improvements. Central to this is the re-landscaping of the routes connecting East Square to Great Oaks multi-storey car park. This in addition to the exciting changes already going on will help to make Basildon Town Centre a more vibrant and modern 21st Century town centre that will accommodate existing and future needs of residents and local businesses.
Overview of the improvements
These changes will enable the formation of a new sustainable transport hub to make the area more attractive and accessible, and deter unnecessary traffic from the town centre. These proposals have been through a traffic modelling process to consider the impact on the Town Centre and wider highway network. This has identified some measures on the highway network that need to be implemented to aid the distribution of traffic.
The improvements include:
- Changes to the road layout outside the Bus and Rail Stations to enable the formation of a sustainable transport hub. This includes removal of the subway outside the Rail Station, replaced with improved surface crossings and connections between the Rail station and the Town Centre, creating an attractive gateway to the Town Centre.
- Restrictions on Southernhay between Station Way and Clay Hill Road to allow access for buses / cycles / taxis and pedestrians only to create a ‘transit-mall’ and dedicated sustainable transport hub. This will be enforced with the installation of a bus gate on the approach to the Bus Interchange next to Market Pavement and at Clay Hill Road.Change of traffic flow on Cherrydown East, Station Way and Clay Hill Road from one-way traffic flow to two-way traffic flow for all vehicles. This will allow vehicles to travel west to east and east to west without conflicting with the transport hub.
- Improvements to the street scene around the taxi rank outside the Bus Interchange.
- New taxi rank and rail replacement bus/coach serve the Rail Station.
- Improvements to the Bus Interchange waiting area, including Real Time Passenger Information Displays.
- Improvements to the Rail Station forecourt including new paving, new and increased secure cycle storage, and new signing.
- Upgrade of existing ‘puffin’ crossing on Cherrydown East to a ‘toucan’ crossing, to provide a crossing point for cyclists and pedestrians and to operate with two-way traffic to facilitate future cycle way improvements around the Town Centre including north south links to the Enterprise Corridor.
- Improvements to the taxi and bus laybys outside Asda on Southernhay. It is proposed to relocate the bus stop onto the nearside lane and move the taxi rank into the current bus layby. This will improve safety for taxi users and enable buses to merge into the traffic flow more efficiently.
- Trimming and removal of some trees and bushes along Southernhay has already occurred, where possible replanting and landscaping will be undertaken. This will help provide the open space and improved access between the Rail Station and Bus Interchange, and the Town Centre, which has also helped to deter anti-social behaviour.
Images of the proposals