Exciting times for Usk
Published: 12 June 2019
Monmouthshire County Council and Usk Town Council are delighted to be working in partnership with ARUP Consultancy to create a forward-looking, aspirational Master Plan for Usk and Woodside. The plan will focus on designing an innovative street and public space in a bid to make Usk a pedestrian friendly town.
The desire for a safe, friendlier highway has been sought by residents of Usk for many years. The quiet town has been subject to large vehicles passing through Bridge Street and damage to Usk Bridge is a regular occurrence. Pedestrians walking through Bridge Street report feeling unsafe and increased traffic has led to the street becoming an air quality management area.
Residents gained a taste of what a pedestrianised space could feel like whilst Bridge Street and Castle parade were closed off for essential gas pipe upgrading in 2018. The work was initially feared by businesses and residents but fears were soon alleviated. Residents reported feeling safe and were happy to be able to walk freely through the street without the worry of busy through traffic. Increased footfall resulted in a positive impact for local businesses.
Usk Town Council and Monmouthshire County Council have been working to find a solution via traditional traffic orders but there has been little progress. The Masterplan focuses on work by the late Ben Hamilton-Baille and the Future Usk community survey and consultation exercise will provide a baseline upon which to build ongoing community engagement activities.
The Town Council’s Future Usk community survey undertaken with Usk residents highlighted various issues that are important. The sustainability and future of retail and commerce, leisure, parking, as well as the traffic management were all issues important to residents. In addition the town has a very proactive and busy community sector with groups organising events, possibly the best known being the flower displays, resulting in Usk earning the ‘Town of Flowers’ title.
Cllr Jane Pratt, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Neighbourhood Services said:
‘We are really pleased to have an opportunity to partner Usk Town Council in this exciting initiative. For many years we have recognised that Usk requires a concentrated piece of work to identify the opportunities that will enable Usk to be fit for the future through supporting local businesses and creating a destination where visitors and residents can enjoy the town alike. We very much look forward to seeing the results’.
Mrs Christine Wilkinson, Mayor of Usk, said "We are excited, not only to have ARUP on board for this next stage, but to have MCC joining with us, to drive this forward. As well as creating a visionary, future-proof, Master Plan - very much with the 'shared space' ethos at its heart - ARUP will explore, attract and secure funding streams so that dreams can indeed become realities”.
For more information contact:
Sadie Beer, Monmouthshire County Council Town Centre Project Engagement Officer
call 07970036191 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Usk Town Council Clerk Tracey Huxley, email email@example.com or call 01291 673011