Outcomes from Paignton Town Centre Zoom Meeting held Thursday 5th August 2021
Nigel Mills led for the TDA/Council
Matt McFeat led for the transport aspects
Jan Tribble of Kay Elliot
Nigel Mill led off for the TDA
£2.2M allocated for Station Square and Torbay Road. £660K of this for Torbay Road topped up as we know to £800K.
The seven so called Transitional Schemes must be delivered during 2024.
Matt McFeat took over.
Outcomes from this meeting will inform the stage three design of Station Square and Torbay Road. Admitted that the wider work on the Traffic Strategy had not been done at the time the scheme was first mooted. This would be undertaken when design agreed.
Stated that the Zoo Walk envisaged in the walking and cycling plan to a great extent relied on the Pedestrianisation of Torbay Road for delivery?
Matt then showed a series of slides outlining the possibilities and possible pitfalls of a Pedestrianisation scheme on traffic flows. This was well presented.
Narrow roads were cited as a hindrance but it emerged that the measurements did not include possible widths of road if Parking was removed.
Richard highlighted the fact that if we are to produce a “Sticky Space” then it was impractical to have vehicles running through it. There was room however for vehicles using the area for specific reasons such as delivery.
Mike Elm the Liveable Space Co-ordinator asked if there was a trialling of various possible Pedestrianisation schemes. Nigel said that there was and possibly one on each Sunday of the month would work. It was pointed out by Dave Thomas that now was the optimum time not during the winter months. Point not resolved.
Catherine Fritz pointed out to Nigel that what we experiencing was not a public consultation or community engagement. Nigel agreed.
Nigel Mills then went through all the possible ways that Pedestrianisation could occur. He showed slides and this was well done. Richard joined in and explained his own version.
Further discussion occurred when it was agreed that bringing the traffic down Esplanade road was the preferred route, Chris Lewis had reservations as it would possibly cause gridlock on the sea front. It was agreed that more work had to be done in respect of the signage directing traffic into Paignton from Torbay Road and beyond.
Chris Lewis also pointed out that if we did not pedestrianise all of Torbay Road but did it piecemeal the value would be diminished
Catherine asked if it was possible to put some sort of bridging arrangement for pedestrians over Esplanade Road.
It was agreed that the preferred option was to Pedestrianise Torbay Road and Station Square. The details to be worked through but with a preference for full Pedestrianisation.
When asked about the parking situation and how it would fair when half of the multi storey was demolished Nigel was cagey in the extreme. It emerged that £44k of the Land Release Money has already been spent on removing the Telephone Masts and that at present they are hell bent on pulling it down. As a laurel leaf we have been promised a new car parking review, for what good that will do.
It is clear that the Council are listening in respect of Station Square and Torbay Road. We can expect good outcomes. What is also clear is that they consider themselves too deep into the demolition of the car park so cannot change it/ They have no strategy that joins together all aspects of the Town Centre renewal. The housing acquired by the demolition will not materially affect their three or five years land supply and the rebuilding of Crossways will not save the town centre. However these two matters are much quoted and heralded.
All round it was a good and constructive meeting.