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Council to investigate next steps for town centre remodelling

FROME Town Council is pushing ahead with plans to remodel the town centre and its favoured option could ‘transform’ the centre of town into a pedestrian priority area. 

The preferred option would see resurfaced and realigned kerbs and widened footways, and would allow easier pedestrian movement by reducing vehicle speeds.

A feasibility study from consultants Landscape Projects was presented to councillors last month, who agreed to progress the project to the next stage with a traffic assessment of the possible improvements.

The possibilities for financing the improvements – which could cost in the region of £800,000 to £1.5million – are also being investigated.

At the meeting, councillors emphasised that, even though they have agreed to progress the project to the next stage, no decisions on realising the project have been taken. In considering the cost, it was emphasised that any developments would be a ‘medium to long-term project’ which will evolve over time and could be implemented in stages.

Landscape Projects report that the re-modelling of the town centre would improve pedestrian safety, enhance the character of the town, and increase footfall by reducing ‘the severing effect of the road’ through traffic calming.

The study recommends that the Market Place is treated as a ‘pedestrian priority area’. This would include slowing driver speeds and enforcing the perception of pedestrian priority with gateways into town, strips on the road and resurfacing, narrowing carriageways, and introducing traffic calming measures.

Landscape Projects report that remodelling the town centre could improve the vitality of the town centre, but say that any proposals must reflect the ‘unique character’ of Frome. Ideas include improving street  lighting, planting more trees, improving seating areas, managing shop fronts and signage, reducing clutter in the streets, and improving access to the river.