Summary of Queen Street engagement proposals
In the original engagement plans for Queen Street, widening of pavements along Queen Street was proposed for an improved pedestrian environment, freeing up opportunities for greening and potentially some outdoor seating.
These design plans included relocation of about two-thirds of standard street-side parking to Cricketfield car park decking, to enable the widening. The aim was to create a more balanced pedestrian and motor vehicle environment, instead of the fairly traffic dominated environment that currently exists. An increase in disabled access parking was also part of these plans. In addition, the plans include re-purposing of the loading bay outside the ex-Queen’s Hotel, as a green gateway to the town centre, to encourage footfall into town.
Two online surveys were run in the engagement; one for businesses and one for the public. In total, 29 businesses and 130 members of the public responded.
Comments were received from emails to Members and the Town Centre Manager and social media comments were noted, although contributors were advised to complete the online surveys so their views would form part of the formal feedback.
Feedback Summary, Queen Street public survey
- Just over 70% of respondents are residents in Newton Abbot and just over 20% are Teignbridge residents (not Newton Abbot)
- About 60% of respondents said they drive to town as their main mode of travel and about 30% walk or cycle as their main mode of travel
- About a third of respondents never use Queen Street for parking, and the next most popular responses were less than once a month (about 15%) and a few times a week (about 15%)
- Most shoppers currently spend between 30 minutes and two hours in Newton Abbot. The most popular responses were from 1 hour to 90 minutes (about 30%) and from 30 minutes to 1 hour (30%)
- Almost 60% of respondents agree or strongly agree with the need to widen pavements for an improved pedestrian shopping experience in Queen Street, whereas a little over 25% disagree or strongly disagree
- Almost half of respondents agree with the need for a slight increase in disabled access parking spaces on or close to Queen Street, whereas just over 20% disagree or strongly disagree
- A little over 70% of respondents never use the taxi bays on Queen Street, and a further 15% didn’t know they were there
- Just over 85% of respondents support greening along Queen Street. Just over 45% of respondents favour tree planting (medium or small sized) on Queen Street, just over 30% favour planters (with flowers or herbs), and just under 15% do not support new planting
- Just under 50% of respondents support some outdoor seating for eateries or bistros, whereas just under 25% of respondents do not support any outdoor seating
- Over 75% of respondents support a small amount of public seating, with wooden benches being the favoured option. Less than 25% of respondents do not support any new seating
- Just over 55% of respondents support relocating two-thirds of street-side parking to Cricketfield car park to enable the improvements to the pedestrian realm, whereas 35% of respondents do not support this
- Almost 55% of respondents said they would visit more often and/or spend longer in town if the improvements were implemented, whereas less than 30% said they would not.
Feedback Summary, Queen Street business survey
- About 70% of respondents are located in Queen Street, although just over 30% are located elsewhere in Newton Abbot
- A range of business types responded
- Just over 55% of respondents agree or strongly agree with enhancing the environment for Queen Street shoppers, including pavement widening and greening and café seating where feasible width can be achieved, whereas just under 40% disagree or strongly disagree with this
- Almost 50% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree with relocating two-thirds of street-side parking from Queen Street to Cricketfield car park, whereas just over 40% agree or strongly agree with this
- Just over 60% of respondents feel their business relies heavily on Pop & Shop, whereas a little over 15% disagree or strongly disagree with this
- Just over 55% of respondents think that a Pop & Shop visit is no more than 30 minutes, and little less than 30% said up to 1 hour.
- About 70% of respondents find the amount, and locations, of loading suitable for their business needs, whereas just over 20% disagree or strongly disagree with this
- Just over 30% of respondents feel the most important factor for continued business function is parking capacity directly by their premises, whereas just over 20% feel greater diversity of offer and creating more of a hub for visitors is vital, and a little over 15% feel improved town centre environment including wider pavements and greening is vital to attract and sustain more footfall.
Changes proposed as a result of feedback
- The number of parking spaces to be retained in Queen Street will increase from a third of standard spaces to almost half
- More parking will be retained in the eastern reaches of Queen Street
- The potential for altering parking timing restrictions on Queen Street will be reviewed if the funding bid is successful. If feasible it may aid turnover of spaces
- The western reaches of Queen Street will in the updated proposals provide for loading and bus drop-off and also now for taxi bays, and not regular parking, but with cycle parking and planters, and a notably wider pavement
- Opportunities in the updated proposals for greening are more specific, showing the potential in Queen Street for greening via tree planting and planters
- Widening of the pavement area sufficiently where outdoor seating is likely to be most in demand has been improved, but this will need further review, if funding bid is successful, to ensure a suitable pedestrian width can be retained alongside any proposed seating
- Two new disabled access parking spaces are shown between The Avenue and Lemon Road, as this is where pavement widening is not proposed, and so there is a slightly wider carriageway retained to support the wider bays needed for disabled access parking
- The disabled access parking bay at the western end of Queen Street is proposed to be relocated to Courtenay Road, outside the College building, for safe and direct access
- 20 mph signage is proposed along the 1-way stretch of Queen Street
- More cycle parking capacity will be provided along Queen Street and if successful in the bid, the style of racks and other details will be examined during the detailed design process
- Cycle permeability between Devon Square and Marsh Road/Cricketfield has been incorporated into the proposals
- Changes made in the updated plans as a result of engagement strike a better balance between retaining sufficient street-side parking and being able to implement transformational measures that are very well supported.
Preliminary design plans that were updated in July 2020, following review of the feedback from June 2020 public engagement