Felixstowe: Controversial shared space shopping scheme wins national award

It may be causing controversy among shoppers, but Felixstowe’s new shared space town centre has won favour with the judges of a national street design award.

The scheme – part of a �2.8million revamp of the shopping area and seafront roads – has won the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation’s Streets Award.

Suffolk County Council built the scheme and managed the project with a board comprising town, district and county councillors and town traders.

Judges said it was an “excellent scheme” of innovative and outstanding street design which succeeded in its aims to cut through traffic, link the town and seafront, and improve safety for pedestrians in an area of Hamilton Road where there had been many injury accidents.

“The retention of the one-way system was important in retaining the street’s movement function with the innovative use of courtesy crossings as a gateway treatment,” said the judges. Non-disabled car parking was removed which has encouraged modal shift to sustainable modes.”

Andrew Rowdon, chairman of the Felixstowe Chamber of Trade, said everyone was delighted with the award, which gave great credit to the design concept. “It’s absolutely fantastic to have won this award,” he said. “I know there has been controversy over the scheme and it won’t suit everyone and there will always be critics, but the professionals cannot be wrong and I believe it is working.”

County Councillor Guy McGregor, oortfolio holder for roads and transport, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been recognised for this award.

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“Previously this part of Hamilton Road was dominated by traffic and parked cars. Not only have the improvements made the road safer but the appearance of the whole area has been enhanced, making visiting and shopping in Felixstowe a more enjoyable experience.”

? Do you think shopping is now more pleasant in Hamilton Road? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk