£4.5m plans to revitalise Peterborough’s Lincoln Road revealed
Major plans to revitalise Lincoln Road in Millfield have been revealed.
Nearly £4.5 million will be spent on improving a section between Windmill Street and Searjeant Street, with ideas including upgraded cycle and pedestrian paths, new greenery and an expansion of the city centre’s café culture.
In addition, “competitively priced” trade waste collections for local businesses to minimise waste being left out on the street is being considered, as is a change to the notorious parking situation which could see more restrictions imposed.
Talks are also ongoing over the proposed re-location of the Stagecoach bus depot, although these are separate to the new proposals being put forward by the city council.
The plans will go out for consultation in the summer, with works expected to begin in 2022/23.
Cllr Peter Hiller, council cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “We want to improve people’s lives and we want to improve the environment of this neglected area of the city.
“We want to make it more attractive for people to walk and use cycles and to be more sociable in the area.
“We are very positive about this. We understand there have been delays - the vast majority of those delays have been out the council’s hands - but we now have the opportunity, the desire and the opportunity to make all this happen.”
Specific ideas that are being considered include:
. Pedestrian crossing across Taverners Road
. Secure community space
. Outdoor seating and dining opportunities for local businesses
. ‘Competitively priced’ trade waste collections for local businesses to minimise waste being left out on the street
. Parking restrictions to create more outside space for local businesses and encourage shoppers to walk and cycle more. The council is also reviewing opportunities to improve short-stay parking in the area.
The investment is coming from the Government’s Towns Fund (£2.5 million) and the council itself (£1.9 million).
The local authority has already hired a dedicated manager for the project, Rebecca Close, who took up the role a month ago.
The ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour group have argued in previous years over claims that the council has failed to follow through with planned investment in the Millfield area, but Cllr Hiller insists the new proposals have a wide range of support.
“I believe the negativity from certain corners is now one of positivity,” he said.
Ms Close added: “The plans at the moment were developed within conversations with local councillors and independent groups.
“They have had input in the design, but we recognise we need to go through another round of consultation to update those plans.
“I am excited to work on the project and it’s had a lot of positive feedback so far.”
The council said the Lincoln Road improvements will “make the area easier and more attractive to walk and cycle around, supporting the health and wellbeing of residents, shoppers and visitors. Businesses will also be able to apply for pavement licences, extending the city’s café culture approach and boosting dining/retail opportunities following the Covid-19 pandemic”.
It added that the section of Lincoln Road identified is almost as wide as Bridge Street and is not being utilised as well as it could.
It believes there is space to provide much wider pavements, with outdoor seating and dining and other features for non-road users.
On the trade waste collections, Cllr Hiller said: “The rationale is to reduce the burden on local businesses to reduce their trade waste, and in some instances reduce the blight of fly-tipping.
“It’s a desire to help the place stay clean and be more amenable.”
Peterborough is to receive £25 million from the Towns Fund, with projects including a new cultural hub in Bridge Street called The Vine, a bridge over the River Nene between the Embankment and Fletton Quays, and a new climbing wall at Ferry Meadows.
Matthew Bradbury, chair of the city’s Towns Fund Board, said: “In the summer we will be looking for your views on these plans so we can take the next steps in deciding exactly what will be coming for this area.
“We will need the local community to really get on board and tell us what they like and any barriers and how we can make the plans work for them.”