As we near completion of our works, we thought we’d write to you and give a final update and some key information. It is also an opportunity to explain the works that have been completed, along with the challenges and obstacles we faced along the way and how these were overcome.
The main concept of this scheme was to make the town centre pedestrian friendly with large open spaces this was one of the reasons the bus stops were moved from Terminus Road into Gildredge Road and Cornfield Road.
Phasing of the works has been challenging as we had to maintain full pedestrian access and business access whilst keeping the buses running along Terminus Road and Cornfield Road.
Weak road foundations and locations of key service pipes meant the design had to be reviewed and changes made. We have endeavoured to work as effectively and efficiently as we can but recognise the unforeseen ground conditions has resulted in the scheme taking longer and caused disruption to all concerned.
The scheme is now entering its final stage and we are in the process of closing up the last sections of road and pavements, planting of new trees and shrubs has also commenced. New street furniture has been installed including: –
- Cycle racks along Terminus Road and Cornfield Road.
- Granite benches along Terminus Road, some of which have architectural lighting, plus other benches in Cornfield Road and by the Railway Station.
- New litter bins.
- Finger posts and wayfinding nodes will be installed to provide directional assistance within the town centre and surrounding area.
Planted areas across Ashford Road, Terminus Road and Cornfield Road are nearly completed, with a total of 36 trees and various shrubs including herbaceous, wild flowers, bulbs, annuals/biennials and grasses will be planted. All these planted areas will make a considerable difference to the overall appearance of the main pedestrianised areas as well as giving the bus lane in Terminus Road better definition.
A large open space at Sussex Gardens has been designed with the intention of being used for communal events, such as Christmas Markets, concerts and fairs. The whole area has been constructed with granite paving and will contain a number of removable bollards which can be used as seating.
As you are aware, we closed Mark Lane to allow full reconstruction of the junction with Cornfield Road. This junction was found to be on very poor ground, so it was necessary to dig much deeper and provide a capping layer to structurally support the main carriageway. Whilst we acknowledge the inconvenience and disruption that has caused, it was necessary to ensure the works are fully completed and constructed in a safe manner.
Another part of the contract works was to replace the bus shelters within the works area. You may have noticed that there was a delay in opening these bus shelters. The supplier of the bus shelters unfortunately had an issue with the frames which led to the glass not being fitted correctly. The issue was rectified and the shelters are now in use.
During our works we have often been asked why we work in multiple areas at one time and not stick to one area and complete it before moving on. When the works are planned, a programme is produced based on the information available to us, this in turn dictates the order in which we plan to complete the project.
Once work commenced on-site, we discovered numerous unchartered services and unstable ground conditions on this site which resulted in considerable design changes.
Whilst awaiting the revised designs we were unable to complete the works in the affected areas. To protect the project timeline, the works were re-programmed with new areas being closed off to allow us to continue working and prevent further delays.
It has been a challenging project, however we are sure you will appreciate the vast improvement this has made to the town centre.
The photos below demonstrate the changes achieved on Terminus Road West and Terminus Road East.
As long as we do not encounter further problems, the final scheme completion date will be mid-December.
The project team apologises for any disruption this work may have caused, and we thank you for your continued co-operation and patience during this time.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to make contact using the details below.