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Broadmarsh Area Transformation

The long-awaited creation of a welcoming entrance to the city from the south will begin in early August 2020, with new images showing the scale of change the public can look forward to.

The exciting new green, pedestrian-friendly public space for the city centre – involving the most significant changes to a city centre road layout for 15 years – is being funded through the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund, approved by Nottingham City Council’s Executive Board last week for Nottingham and Derby and D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership. The scheme has attracted over £20m of Government funding and the traffic changes will come into effect on the weekend of 8-9 August. Once complete, these major works will see:

  • Collin Street closed to all traffic
  • Canal Street, between Middle Hill and Greyfriar Gate, become a two-way restricted area for buses and wheelchair accessible taxis
  • The Greyfriar Gate junction modified to accommodate both north and southbound traffic, linking Maid Marian Way with Wilford Street, Canal Street and Castle Boulevard
  • Middle Hill become two-way from Canal Street to enable access into the Lace Market.

Before road layout map

After road layout map

The changes will support plans to improve the city’s walking and cycling connectivity post-COVID pandemic, providing more routes through the city centre and better connecting the city centre to the wider Nottingham area. Preparatory works are currently underway on Greyfriar Gate to facilitate Collin Street's closure in August and details of the works will be fully communicated as they progress.

Drivers normally using these routes to travel west to east and east to west will instead be directed to use the Southern Relief Route, which runs from London Road to Wilford Street past Nottingham Station. The City Council is confident this route can handle the traffic demands, as it did when Canal Street was closed to traffic in Summer 2019 while major gas works were carried out.

What the changes will create

The redevelopment of the whole Broadmarsh area will drastically improve the city centre once completed, with a new Broadmarsh Car Park and Bus Station, Central Library, Nottingham Castle visitor experience and Nottingham College City Hub and reimagined public realm, along with a new intu Broadmarsh development, currently paused due to the impact of COVID-19.

The new Broadmarsh Car Park and Bus Station, due to open in 2021, is already changing the city centre for the better, with cladding work underway as a marked improvement to the previous Car Park and Bus Station building, with a new Central Library and retail outlets also due to open on Carrington Street in 2021.

These schemes will create an open, vibrant, welcoming space to the city for anyone arriving by bus, tram, train, car, bike or on foot. The new spaces and traffic reduction will deliver vastly improved pedestrian environments and will include dedicated cycle facilities on Canal Street. The work will also provide a great new public space between the new college, shopping centre, Nottingham Central Library and Nottingham Castle, with spaces for outdoor seating, food and drink in Carrington Street and areas for children to play creating a better atmosphere to sit and dwell during the day.

This will mean the areas connecting these major new developments can be turned into a bright, tree-lined space with high quality paving with landscaping, public art, and outdoor cafés, transforming them into safe and attractive spaces for people to enjoy. Views to the Castle will be preserved, with new places for people to sit and relax, space for art boxes and words in the paving, celebrating both the new Central Library and Nottingham’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature, included as part of the design.

The Sussex Street area, between Middle Hill and the new Nottingham College City Hub, has been inaccessible and unwelcoming for some time, and will be transformed into a brighter, amphitheatre style space, with steps from Middle Hill to Sussex Street and an environment where people can relax and play, with new spaces for activity and exercise for young people, including skateboarding. These public spaces will be capable of hosting major events in the day and night, helping to further boost the city’s reputation for hosting top-class entertainment and activities.

Work to improve the historic frontages on Carrington Street under the City Council’s Townscape Heritage scheme will improve the facades of these buildings in time for new retail units to open on the ground floor of the Broadmarsh Car Park building on Carrington Street.

Nottingham was in the midst of change long before the COVID-19 pandemic, with ambitions to become a carbon neutral city by 2028. Central to the Southside transformation has been the re-routing of city centre traffic away from Collin Street and Canal Street to create a fantastic new entrance to the city and welcoming pedestrian space. This has been done previously in the city at Old Market Square, Trinity Square, Station Street, Lister Gate and Upper Parliament Street, creating better spaces for people to relax and browse what Nottingham city centre has to offer.

Broadmarsh Centre

Who owns the Broadmarsh Centre now?

The council now holds the freehold and leasehold.

The Broadmarsh Centre’s previous owners, intu, disclaimed the lease to the City Council in early July. This came at a financially challenging time for the council as it has worked tirelessly to support the city through the COVID pandemic, and we are in a short period of stabilisation before making bigger decisions about the centre.

The withdrawal of Intu from the site presents a financial challenge for the City Council at a time when our budget is under immense pressure. Equally this is a great opportunity to look again at the plans for this key site taking into account different ideas. We won’t be able to do this by ourselves and we will need to work in partnership.

When will the walkway reopen? Is it a public right of way?

This is a priority for the council.

Our first priority now will be to ensure that the right of way through the centre is reopened safely as quickly as possible. Work has begun to reopen this walkway and it should be open soon.

What is going to happen to the site now?

No decision has been taken on this yet.

To see a major redevelopment that had been making good progress stall because of the coronavirus pandemic and intu’s administration was a major blow.

Broadmarsh is an extremely important site right at the heart of the city centre. It’s vital that we maximise its potential as part of the wider regeneration taking place in the city, bringing investment, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for local people.

It’s good that the conversation about the future of Broadmarsh has already started in the city, and we want that to continue.

Traffic Switch FAQs

Changes to the area

When are you changing the roads?

Works will begin on the weekend of 8-9 August.

Works have been ongoing to prepare the roads for these changes since 2016. We will begin the next major phase of works, namely the changes to Collin Street, Canal Street, Greyfriar Gate and Middle Hill, from the weekend of 8-9 August. Roads would traditionally be quieter at this time because of summer holidays, but which will still be especially quiet as the country is phased out of lockdown. The changes to Canal Street, Greyfriar Gate and Middle Hill will be immediate, with works to create a welcoming new gateway to the city from the south expected to continue throughout 2020 and 2021.

What can I expect from the new public space?

A great, greener new public space which will transform the entrance to Nottingham.

These schemes will create an open, vibrant, welcoming space to the city for anyone arriving by bus, tram, train, car, bike or on foot. The new spaces and traffic reduction will deliver vastly improved pedestrian environments and will include dedicated cycle facilities on Canal Street. The work will also provide a great new public space outside the new Nottingham Central Library, with spaces for outdoor seating, food and drink in Carrington Street and areas for children to play creating a better atmosphere to sit and dwell during the day.

The Sussex Street area, between Middle Hill and the new Nottingham College City Hub, has been inaccessible and unwelcoming for some time, and will be transformed into a brighter, amphitheatre style space, with steps from Middle Hill to Sussex Street and an environment where people can relax and play, with new spaces for activity and exercise for young people, including skateboarding. These public spaces will be capable of hosting major events in the day and night, helping to further boost the city’s reputation for hosting top-class entertainment and activities.

What are the major changes to the roads?

Some roads will be closed and some will have the direction of traffic changed.

The major changes will see Collin Street closed to all traffic, with traffic diverted along the Southern Relief Route.

Canal Street, between Middle Hill and Greyfriar Gate, will become a two-way restricted area for buses and wheelchair accessible taxis. However, in the period between the initial traffic switch and completion of transformation scheme on Canal Street, the section of Canal Street between Carrington Street and Middle Hill will operate eastbound only for buses and taxis.

Whilst we continue with our construction programme there will be a closure of Canal Street westbound (at Middle Hill), this will be until the Car Park opens.

Greyfriar Gate, which runs between the NCP Car Park and Ocean nightclub, will have its traffic flow reversed – so instead of travelling north on it, you will travel south. Middle Hill, which runs between the tram viaduct and Broadmarsh Car Park site, will also have its traffic flow reversed – so instead of being one way southbound, it will become a two way route.

Why is the Council pedestrianising a main city centre road?

To create a more open, welcoming space to the city centre.

Nottingham was in the midst of change long before the COVID-19 pandemic, with ambitions to become a carbon-neutral city by 2028. Central to this has been the re-routing of city centre traffic away from Collin Street and Canal Street to create a fantastic new entrance to the city and welcoming pedestrian space. This has been done previously in the city at Old Market Square, Trinity Square, Station Street, Lister Gate and Upper Parliament Street, creating better spaces for people to relax and browse what Nottingham city centre has to offer.

The £250m redevelopment of the Broadmarsh area will drastically improve the city centre and make it safer, with four lanes of traffic now reduced to two lanes of bus and taxi only traffic on Canal Street, improving pedestrian and cycle routes from the south with upgraded streets, safer junctions and better pedestrian flows in the area.

This will mean the areas connecting these major new developments can be turned into a bright, tree-lined space with high quality paving with landscaping, public art, and outdoor cafés, transforming them into safe and attractive spaces for people to enjoy. Views to the Castle will be preserved, with new places for people to sit and relax, space for art boxes and words in the paving, celebrating both the new Central Library and Nottingham’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature, included as part of the design.

The Sussex Street area, between Middle Hill and the new Nottingham College City Hub, has been inaccessible and unwelcoming for some time and will be transformed into a brighter, amphitheatre style space, with steps from Middle Hill to Sussex Street and an environment where people can relax and play, with new spaces for activity and exercise for young people, including skateboarding. These public spaces will be capable of hosting major events in the day and night, helping to further boost the city’s reputation for hosting top-class entertainment and activities.

Work to improve the historic frontages on Carrington Street under the City Council’s Townscape Heritage scheme will improve the facades of these buildings in time for new retail units to open in the Broadmarsh Car Park building on Carrington Street.

How much is all of this costing? Is it taxpayer money?

The whole project is being funded externally – no local taxpayer money is being used on this scheme.

The £250 million redevelopment of the Broadmarsh area, including intu Broadmarsh, the Broadmarsh Car Park building, Nottingham College Skills Hub and road space transformation, is being funded by partners and funds the council has bid for, rather than local taxpayer money. The changes are being funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Local Transport Plan, City Deal/ERDF and Transforming Cities Funding.

The main road space transformation scheme has been allocated £20m, with a further £2.3m and £5.1m for way finding and cycle improvements respectively, from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

Changes to the road layout

Can the new routes you’ve designed cope with the traffic that used Collin Street and Canal Street?

Yes.

All of our modelling prior to proceeding with the changes to the Broadmarsh area suggested the road network could cope with the changes to the roads: if it was likely to have made traffic worse in the long term, the project would not have gone ahead. In Summer 2019, Canal Street had to be closed for seven weeks for major gas works, which turned out to be a test of the changes the council was looking to put in place, and congestion was extremely low during this period. We anticipate that as people get used to the changes, there may be some minor delays but as people get used to the new road layout, these will reduce.

How much longer will my journey take?

No more than a couple of minutes.

All of our modelling prior to proceeding with the changes to the Broadmarsh area suggested the road network could cope with the changes to the roads: if it was likely to have made traffic worse in the long term, the project would not have gone ahead. We have consistently checked traffic levels and made adjustments to the roads and traffic lights where necessary and believe journeys are only likely to take a couple of minutes longer than usual if at all.

Can I still get to the Broadmarsh Centre across Collin Street?

Not at the moment, but you will be able to soon.

While Collin Street will close to traffic, pedestrians will still be able to walk and cycle along the street as usual, including access through the Broadmarsh Centre via Collin Street. Work is underway to get this walkway reopened.

Why are you doing this when more people are going to be at home in the UK over summer because of COVID-19? And with the A52 repairs still ongoing?

The roads will still be quieter than usual, and these changes will improve the city centre.

At the start of lockdown, traffic levels in the city centre were 20% of their usual level, and our projections suggest that even if lockdown eases on the schedule set out by the Government in May, roads will still be half their usual level over summer. These changes will transform Nottingham for the better, creating an open, vibrant, welcoming space to the city for anyone arriving by bus, tram, train, car, on foot or by bike.

Will those working on the site be safe given the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes – we will follow all Public Health England guidance.

These works will not be carried out if they cannot be carried out safely. The Government has issued strong guidance on how people on construction sites should work while on site, and our teams are working on how they can carry out these works considering the safety of both staff and the general public.

Why are you still carrying on with this work when there is doubt over the future of intu Broadmarsh?

These changes are still needed, to create a fresh new entrance to the city and encourage further investment in the city

The City Council has long been committed to a transformation of the Broadmarsh area to extend the city centre southwards, creating a fantastic new public space for residents of Nottingham and visitors to the city. While we are continuing to find a way forward for intu Broadmarsh, it’s important that we move ahead with the rest of our exciting and transformational plans for the area. These plans are fully funded and are an important part of Nottingham’s recovery from Coronavirus and future growth and prosperity.

Changes for drivers

How are you going to let people know driving around Nottingham?

With signage at key locations around the city and in the area.

We appreciate that no-one wants to be surprised by road changes just as they get to the area where everything has changed – so we’ll be placing signs at key places across the city, like at Goose Fair roundabout, Trent Bridge and Queen’s Medical Centre among others, to inform people as early as possible that changes are either coming or have happened and they will need to consider their route. These signs will be in place around six weeks prior to the changes to the roads to give people enough time to get used to the coming changes, and so people can take time to consider what route to take to get across the city – if your journey is likely to be affected, think about what other routes you could take to get around or use the alternative routes map on the Better Broadmarsh website.

I usually drive along Collin Street towards the Lace Market. What’s my new route?

Along the Southern Relief Route, west to east.

The new route from west to east will be along the Southern Relief Route, which the council has been putting into place gradually since 2016. This means you will come along Castle Boulevard, the road will bring you round the NCP Car Park to head south on Greyfriar Gate (where you can currently only travel north) and on to the route below. If you come down Maid Marian Way, instead of joining Collin Street you will head south on Greyfriar Gate and on to the route below.

Once on Greyfriar Gate, you will head down Wilford Street, towards Queen’s Drive, and turn left on to Waterway Street West, following this past Nottingham Station and towards London Road where you will turn left. From here, you can turn left again on to Canal Street and head north on Middle Hill (where you can currently only travel south) towards the Lace Market.

I work in Castle Wharf – how do I get there without being fined?

Via Albion Street from Greyfriar Gate.

To access Castle Wharf, the City Council has realigned a junction across Canal Street to allow easy entrance and exit to Castle Wharf. To do this, you will drive south on Greyfriar Gate (which will have its traffic flow reversed as part of the changes, as traffic currently flows north) in the left lane and turn left on to Albion Street. At the end of this short road, turn right on to Melville Street and carefully cross Canal Street straight in to Castle Wharf. When exiting Castle Wharf, turn left – if you turn right, you will go through a bus gate and be fined.

I usually drive along Collin Street towards London Road or towards the Motorpoint Arena. What’s my new route?

Along the Southern Relief Route, west to east.

The new route from west to east will be along the Southern Relief Route, which the council has been putting into place gradually since 2016. This means you will come along Castle Boulevard, the road will bring you round the NCP Car Park to head south on Greyfriar Gate (where you can currently only travel north) and on to the route below. If you come down Maid Marian Way, instead of joining Collin Street you will head south on Greyfriar Gate and on to the route below.

Once on Greyfriar Gate, you will head down Wilford Street, towards Queen’s Drive, and turn left on to Waterway Street West, following this past Nottingham Station and towards London Road where you can turn left or right.  

I usually drive along Canal Street to go towards Castle Boulevard. What’s my new route?

Along the Southern Relief Route, east to west.

You will only be able to use Canal Street to access the Lace Market, as Canal Street will have a bus gate on it which means you could be fined if you drive along it past the new Car Park entrance. Instead, the new route from east to west will be the Southern Relief Route, which the council has been putting into place gradually since 2016. This means you will join London Road from the London Road/BBC roundabout and head along London Road in the right lane heading towards Nottingham Station, turning right on to Queens Road at the traffic lights over the train bridge. From here, you will follow the road past Nottingham Station and toward Queen’s Drive. At the junction towards Queen’s Drive, keep right and join Wilford Street, turning left on to Castle Boulevard.

How will I get to the NCP Car Park on Greyfriar Gate?

Via a right turn on Greyfriar Gate

Entrance to the NCP Car Park will change from access on Maid Marian Way to access from Greyfriar Gate, via a right turn. Traffic will exit on to Maid Marian Way.

I need access to Canal Street for deliveries – how do I get a permit?

We have contacted all the properties in the Canal Street area in order to get them set up with the permits that they will need to access the restricted area of Canal Street. This will ensure deliveries or access to private car parks can continue without issue. 

If you have not received a letter then please get in touch with the Broadmarsh Area team on 0115 876 3334  or e-mail: Broadmarsh.Area@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

I have a blue badge. Will I be fined for going through the bus gates on Canal Street or are there exemptions like there are at Old Market Square?

You will be fined – but there are drop off points and parking for disabled people

The new road layout has been designed to provide a better, safer public space for all, and new disabled parking and drop off will be available in the new Broadmarsh Car Park.

Where will I be able to cycle in this new scheme?

You can cycle as usual in a more pleasant environment.

The closure of Collin Street and restriction of traffic on Canal Street will remove and reduce traffic respectively on these roads, making them a more pleasant environment for cyclists. A cycle route is planned for the south of Canal Street, and the council are working on bringing this cycle provision forward in line with the government’s aspiration to maintain cycling and walking levels since the COVID-19 pandemic begun. Cyclists will need to take stock of the directional changes to Greyfriar Gate and Middle Hill to keep themselves and others safe.

How will I access the new Broadmarsh Car Park?

Via Canal Street from London Road.

To access the new Broadmarsh Car Park, you will need to drive along London Road to reach Canal Street. At the junction with Middle Hill, where there are currently Give Way signs, a new mini-roundabout will be in place to allow traffic to proceed straight on to the new Broadmarsh Car Park entrance, which will be just after the mini-roundabout on the right, or to turn right up towards the Lace Market.

Where can I be dropped off for the Bus Station?

In specific parking bays in the new Broadmarsh Car Park.

You will be able to be dropped off for the Broadmarsh Bus Station in the Broadmarsh Car Park. There are five bays located on the first floor of the car park that can be used by taxis and private vehicles without charge.

What vehicles will be allowed into Canal Street?

All traffic can drive up to the tram bridge and Broadmarsh Car Park entrance, but only buses, wheelchair accessible taxis and bicycles will be allowed beyond the Car Park entrance along Canal Street.

To create a fantastic new entrance to the city and welcoming pedestrian space, we are reducing traffic on Canal Street so only buses, wheelchair accessible taxis and bicycles will be allowed along Canal Street. The current four lanes of traffic will be reduced to two lanes of bus and taxi only traffic on Canal Street, improving pedestrian and cycle routes from the south with upgraded streets, safer junctions and better pedestrian flows in the area. All other traffic will be able to use the Southern Relief Route to make the journey from east to west or west to east.

Will I be fined if I drive along Canal Street?

Yes. All traffic can drive up to the tram bridge and Broadmarsh Car Park entrance, but if you drive beyond here you will be fined.

The City Council is reducing traffic along Canal Street to create a fantastic new entrance to the city and welcoming pedestrian space, so any vehicle other than buses, wheelchair accessible taxis and bicycles will be fined if they drive through a bus gate on Canal Street. This will be well signed to prevent any confusion, and initially signed well in advance of the junction to provide plenty of warning for drivers. Traffic will be able to use the Southern Relief Route to make the journey from east to west or west to east.

Changes to public transport

My bus stops are on the route being changed – where will my bus stop move to?

It will stop close to where it did before.

We have worked with bus operators to keep your bus stops as close to their previous location as possible. Buses which previously stopped on Collin Street will stop on Canal Street. Buses which currently stop on Canal Street will temporarily move to Greyfriar Gate heading south instead of north like they do now until the Broadmarsh Bus Station opens in 2021.

Changes for taxis

Where will I be able to get a taxi from?

Within walking distance of the new public realm area.

New taxi ranks will be available on Melville Street, next to the new public realm area on Collin Street, and a night-time taxi rank on Greyfriar Gate next to Ocean nightclub. There are also plans for a new electric-only taxi rank on Middle Hill. While these permanent taxi facilities are not available a temporary taxi rank will be provided on Albion Street. This temporary rank will be in operation between 7pm and 4am.

Is your question not answered above?

Please get in touch with the Broadmarsh Area team on 0115 876 3334 or e-mail: Broadmarsh.Area@nottinghamcity.gov.uk