The emergency changes are temporary and will operate on a trial basis, subject to public feedback.
From Monday, the immediate changes will include:
- the pedestrianisation of Victoria Street from its junction at Queen Square to the junction with Bell Street. Deliveries will be permitted at certain times
- Darlington Street, Queen Square and Lichfield Street will be made one way to motor vehicles travelling in a westerly direction towards Chapel Ash Island to allow the creation of a new 2 way pop up cycle lane and pavement widening (Please note the one-way route will only apply on Darlington Street between Queen Square and Red Lion Street. So there will still be access for vehicles to North Street)
- footway (pavement) widening works will also take place in Stafford Street
Pedestrian footways are being widened with the use of cones to make it easier to maintain safe social distancing measures.
The changes will involve significant changes to some bus routes and the location of bus stops along the affected routes. Bus passengers are advised to visit West Midlands Network to see the new locations of bus stops.
Monday’s changes follow on from the introduction of a temporary 30mph speed limit on the city’s Ring Road last weekend.
All the changes will be funded by money made available by Central Government to implement schemes to encourage more walking and cycling while social distancing measures are in place.
Other changes coming in the next few weeks include the provision of more cycle storage and bike parking spaces across the city centre as well as exploring the options around a trial of e-scooters.
Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment, said: “The Government have called on all councils to introduce emergency measures to encourage greater use of cycling and walking as more shops and other businesses open up in town and city centres.
“We have heeded the call and are now introducing a series of temporary, trial measures which will make it easier for people to walk and cycle into and around the city centre, as well as enabling social distancing for pedestrians and residents queuing at bus stops.
“Our aims with this are safer streets for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users and to support existing retail and the many more shops which will be reopening in our city centre from 15 June.
“Creating a greener, safer city centre is a key priority for City of Wolverhampton Council anyway, so some of these measures are things we were looking to do anyway. We have had to implement them sooner than planned due to the pandemic emergency, so they are a trial and we want to know what the public think about them and hear their suggestions.
“If any of these temporary measures were to become longer term then we would, of course, consult with the public.”