Frodsham Street Public Realm Works
Cheshire West and Chester Council appointed IBI Group and Mott MacDonald to redesign the Frodsham Street in Chester, UK, delivering a Pedestrian Priority Scheme dedicated to creating an area to be used by pedestrians whilst accommodating traffic.
ClientCheshire West and Chester Council
Reinvigorating Chester’s city centre with a Pedestrian Priority Scheme
Originally a narrow, secondary retail street dominated by charity and bargain shops, Frodsham Street underwent a complete transformation, creating an attractive new gateway to Chester city centre. This transformation originated with the relocation of the Chester Transport Interchange to the northern end of Frodsham, providing an opportunity for Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) to pursue improvement of the street’s pedestrian environment, as it would become the main route to the retail and historic core of the city.
The original Frodsham Street saw large numbers of people using the street as a movement corridor, but with narrow pavements and regular bus traffic, it was not a place to spend time or money in. Although vehicle numbers and speeds were low, they degraded the pedestrian environment and created a street people tended to pass through.
CWAC appointed IBI Group and Mott MacDonald to redesign the street to deliver a Pedestrian Priority Scheme; a form of shared space where the urban environment appears pedestrianized, encouraging people to dwell in the space and drivers to navigate it in an appropriate manner. New seating is positioned in the effective carriageway to communicate to drivers that the whole width of the street is for pedestrians, creating social areas and opportunities for rest.
Professional artist, Katayoun Dowlatshahi, designed a series of unique totems for the space, highlighting architectural features found across the historical city. The totems discourage traffic from encroaching on pedestrian-only zones down either side of the street. A tactile strip guides blind/partially sighted users within these zones, which are completely free of any street furniture making navigation straightforward. This is a unique benefit, leading blind/partially sighted members of the Access Group to describe the transformation as “Amazing” and asking, “When are you going to do all the streets in Chester like this?”.
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