Frome Town Council and Mendip District Council have announced this week that work will begin very shortly in the town centre to remodel the Boyle Cross area.
This partnership project will involve the removal of the parking bays and their replacement with an area for loading and unloading. The plans feature new paved areas, a new seating area and a restoration of the Boyle Cross to an ornamental fountain. Work may begin as early as 7 August and is set to greatly enhance the appearance of this part of the town centre.
Councillor Mel Usher, project sponsor of the scheme said “Town Centres can’t stand still, they need constant care and attention if they are to compete with internet shopping… they have to be attractive, safe, welcoming and exciting. Work in the Market Place will fulfil all of these aims.”
The scheme is part of a wider plan that will eventually include a new 20 mph zone to improve the safety of pedestrians, enhance existing desire lines for pedestrians where they frequently cross and the removal of railings on the junction of Cork Street and Market Place – to be replaced with bollards. Eventually the plan is to widen the bus bays to allow traffic to pass more freely and improve air quality. New bus shelters will also be put in place. These additional measures are subject to the approval of Somerset County Council and other landowners – negotiations are well advanced.
When asked why, Peter Wheelhouse Deputy Clerk of Frome Town Council said “These works will enhance the setting of the Boyle Cross monument and surrounding listed buildings, improve pedestrian movement and safety, improve air quality and enhance the facilities for the markets and other events. But most importantly they will make the town centre more attractive as a place to shop, work and visit”
First talked about in 1995, the scheme is the product of extensive public consultation. The partners are currently working closely with town centre businesses and market traders to minimise disruption. Whilst construction is in progress there will be temporary delivery bays available in Market Place and King Street and business premises will remain accessible. Arrangements are also being made to enable the market traders to continue to trade during this period. There will be no lights or stop/go boards to control traffic. Disabled parking will be retained.
Mel Usher continued, “We know some will be critical of change but over time we anticipate that people will wonder why we tolerated the chaos that often surrounds the cross! Phase 2 will also help with the long standing bus parking problem, a bonus for everyone.”
The first phase is set to be delivered in 16 weeks, which will be just in time to try it out at the Christmas Light Switch On set for Friday 1 December.For further information, please go to https://www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/boyle-cross-remodelling/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org