Feedback from residents and businesses has helped shape approved Market Place and Underbanks scheme

Stockport Central Area Committee approved the plans for the town centre on December 2

Feedback from residents and businesses has helped shape approved Market Place and Underbanks scheme

Feedback from residents, businesses and visitors has helped to shape a new scheme that will allow more people to enjoy the town’s historic Market and Underbanks area.

Stockport Council launched a consultation in October on proposals to provide an improved environment for walking and cycling and for those wanting to spend more time in the Market Place and Underbanks Area.

The council received more than 500 responses about the proposals and overall, many were very supportive of reducing vehicle movements in the area to create more attractive environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

Councillors voted to approve the proposals at a meeting of the Central Stockport Area Committee, held on December 2.

During the consultation phase, some concerns were raised by residents and businesses on delivery arrangements and visitors with mobility issues.

Changes were made to the proposals in response to the consultation feedback and these include:

• The extent of the proposed closure on Churchgate/Millgate has been significantly reduced, while still providing a pedestrian link between the Marketplace and St Mary’s Church.
• Additional disabled parking and drop-off space for mobility impaired people, increased loading spaces, and space for vehicle access to St Mary’s Church has been created.
• The location of the Park Street bollards have been repositioned to provide an additional opportunity for loading and access for businesses in the Market Place.
• No loss of parking within the Churchgate car park.
• Relocated turning area for large vehicles which are making deliveries in the area.
• Installation of additional benches
• Changes to the extent of the closures on St Petersgate and Churchgate/Millgate
• Additional signage to direct visitors to businesses in the Market and Underbanks.
• Changes to the location of bollards on Vernon Street.
• Changes to the contra flow cycle lane proposals on St Petersgate.

The scheme will result in new automatic bollards limiting access to the Market area between 10.30am and midnight Monday to Sunday. On Friday and Saturday, the restrictions would begin at 7am. The full-time closure of the Market Place in front of the Produce Hall would remain in place.

A section of Churchgate/Millgate will be closed to through traffic, which will create a traffic-free link between St Mary’s Church and the Market Place.
In addition, the scheme will see the closure of Bridge Street, Great Underbank and part of Little Underbank, from 10.30am to midnight Monday to Sunday.

A section of Little Underbank will become two-way for vehicles between 4pm and midnight.

Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “I would like to thank all residents and businesses for taking the time to contribute during the recent consultation on this proposal.

“We’ve listened to those comments and made changes to the scheme that we feel creates a scheme that is balanced and will help everyone to enjoy the historic Markets and Underbanks when they come to shop, visit and enjoy our town centre.

“This will be a fantastic scheme for the town centre and will make it more inviting and safer for people to visit and enjoy the Market Place and the Underbanks.”

It is proposed that works would begin on the Market and Underbanks elements in early 2022.