Chelmsley Wood Town Centre Masterplan
SYSTRA was commissioned as part of a multidisciplinary team to produce a Masterplan for Chelmsley Wood town centre, with SYSTRA undertaking transport elements of the masterplanning process.
Chelmsley Wood town centre is the main shopping and civic centre for North Solihull, and lies at the heart of a large post-war local authority housing development, characterised by low housing density.
As part of the project SYSTRA prepared a baseline review of strategic and local transport and policy contexts, demographics, new transport developments including HS2 and a new Metro line, and current movement patterns for all modes. This included an analysis of the: walking and cycling networks along with identification of constraints and severances within them; public transport networks; vehicular access; car parking provision; and servicing.
The town centre is surrounded by extensive highway which presents a significant barrier to movement, and existing public transport provision sees a concentration of bus services on one side of the town centre, which in turn has led to a concentration of activity on this side, to the detriment of other areas of the town centre.
SYSTRA developed movement strategies for all modes, informed by the baseline analysis, and underpinned by the desire to allow Chelmsley Wood town centre to extract the most benefit from existing transport networks and anticipated local public transport investment – particularly Metro. The strategy also sought to reduce negative transport impacts, in particular the severance impacts of the local highway network.
The strategy we set out is based on establishing a core of high quality and legible pedestrian routes through the town centre which extend into neighbouring residential areas. These routes connect to all other modes of access, and allowed us to reconfigure bus access in order to animate all sides of the town centre through alighting and boarding points distributed more evenly around it. This was achieved while maintaining potential for interchange with future Metro and also ensuring minimal impact on bus operations.
Given the commercial nature of the town centre, car parking is an important consideration and SYSTRA advised on car parking requirements for commercial, leisure and residential elements of the masterplan.