The public realm scheme, which is located on Tower South Road, Birkenhead was completed in March 2021. The works were commissioned by a leading consultancy in transport planning, infrastructure design and flood risk. We were involved with all stages of the Road Safety Audit process to ensure proper safety procedures were undertaken throughout. A key objective of the scheme was to improve the environment for all road users, with wider high-quality pavements for pedestrians and cyclists, narrower carriageways to reduce traffic speeds, new crossing points to link existing and future developments at Wirral Waters and the surrounding areas. The scheme aimed to influence driver behaviour, which included reducing speeds but also providing awareness of a change in environment, with road safety in mind. The scheme had to have a clear perception of safety whilst maintaining the attractiveness of the area for students, employees, and visitors.
The public realm scheme is a hybrid style with separated footway/cycleway but with minimal signage and direction. Innovative and striking features including an imprinted ‘roundel design’ to replace the existing signalised junction, (this feature is the equivalent to an informal roundabout). Red and white ‘chevron’ footways were another unique feature. With the removal of conventional features such as signal control and standard footways, this can add an element of uncertainty and caution for users. Although this can be a positive for road safety improvements, if this is executed correctly.
Lee Williams, who was one of the auditors for the scheme, stated that “this was a good example of auditing a scheme with new and innovative elements, whilst keeping an open mind, but still ensuring good execution and road safety”. The audit process was followed from start to finish and as a result, safety improvements were made to the scheme following our recommendations.
The scheme has recently been featured in the local press and has been nominated for an award:
“We’re thrilled that the Tower Road Streetscape, our project to create a safe and attractive thoroughfare in #WirralWaters, has been shortlisted for the Liverpool Sub-regional Project of the Year in the NW Regional Construction Awards!”