East Street, TauntonTaunton, Somerset
Our team have developed preliminary public realm enhancements for East Street, Taunton on behalf of Somerset West and Taunton Council. The proposals seek to build upon temporary road closures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to introduce permanent access and public realm enhancements.
Somerset West and Taunton Council
The project vision was to create a pedestrian focussed street, which supported the vibrancy of the retail function whilst reconciling access to the street through restriction of through-traffic but retaining cycle and bus access. The scheme also sought to increase street planting and opportunities for outdoors activity to animate the streetscape.
The design solution introduced bold changes to the street – changing the current access from a two-way street to a one-way street for bus access and with a counter flow cycle lane. The reduction in carriageway width offers more space for pedestrian activity, street tree planting and parklets. A number of shared table crossings are introduced to ensure pedestrians are able to safely cross the space.
The preliminary concept designs will be used as a basis to seek external funding to deliver the scheme.
The scheme shifts the focus away from the vehicle and places the focus upon the street as a pedestrian orientated space. Access for active and public transport is integrated in a move to encourage a modal shift. Provision of new street planting, parklets and rain gardens is proposed as urban greening and to enhance the space.