Lancaster City Centre Movement and Public Realm Strategy
The aim of the Lancaster City Centre Movement and Public Realm strategy is to build upon and realise the vision for Lancaster city centre as outlined in the District of Lancaster Highways and Transport Masterplan which after extensive consultation was formally adopted in 2016. It also aims to meet the requirement as required by the Bay Gateway Development Consent Order (DCO) to implement an:
'action plan [that] must aim to prevent road traffic growth within the central Lancaster area increasing to predicted 'do minimum' levels between the opening and design years of the link road.'
The strategy follows principles set out in the District of Lancaster Highways and Transport Masterplan that proposed a city centre with less traffic, better air quality and improved sustainable travel. In doing so it embraces a framework set out by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) as part of its 'Creating Better Streets: Inclusive and Accessible Places’, report. This framework provides an assessment of the current situation using the following five themes:
- Inclusive Environment;
- Ease of Movement;
- Quality of Place (Public Realm);
- Safety and Public Health;
- Economic Benefits.
After using this framework for an assessment of the current situation it develops aims and objectives for an appraisal framework for eight different options for the city centre.
Following on from the consultation, a report was undertaken to analyse the views and comments and respondents, and this expressed a preference for three options:
• Route 4 Sustainable Travel Corridor East would split the gyratory system in two, with two-way traffic for vehicles allowed on the western arm, and the eastern arm prioritised mainly for sustainable travel.
• Route 6a No through City Centre Traffic would limit through-traffic using the city centre. The eastern arm of the gyratory would be prioritised for sustainable travel with the western arm allowing two way traffic for access with a section at China Street being fully pedestrianised.
• Route 8a City Centre Clean Air Zone would see the city centre become a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), with a congestion charge for all vehicles travelling through the city centre except for exemptions. Use of the gyratory would also be split between vehicles subject to the congestion charge, and a sustainable travel corridor.
In February 2021, cabinet agreed the report's recommendations to take forward these options for detailed analysis. This will include transport modelling that will take into account the wider measures to be implemented and the impacts on the wider Lancaster highway network. The assessment will also consider the air quality implications of the options modelled. There will be further consultation in late 2021 on a preferred option.
Find out more in the documents and resources area.