The council also plans to resurface the road and pavements between the Clock Tower and Montpelier Road and give greater priority for pedestrians crossing side roads.
Other changes in the pipeline include ‘improvements for cyclists at junctions’ and ‘improved junctions at Dyke Road and Clock Tower’.
The revamp is one of a series of ‘active travel’ measures due to be debated at a special meeting of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on Wednesday, July 21.
A central strip for pedestrians is planned to help those on foot to cross the road in places, with wider pavements by the Imperial Arcade and Churchill Square. If the proposals are voted through, bus stops would be removed at Clarence Square and the westbound stops by Waitrose would be moved closer to Sillwood Road.
The council said that the scheme would remove ‘unnecessary street furniture’ and allow more cycle parking and benches.
The Department for Transport is expected to give the council £1.5 million to cover the cost of resurfacing Western Road. And some of the funding is expected to come from a £2 million ‘active travel’ grant, also from the government.
A report to councillors said the Western Road project was subject to further design work, including engineering and materials.
About 6,000 vehicles a day travel along Western Road, the report said, and over a fortnight in April and May, an average of 860 cyclists a day were recorded using the road. But the proposals do not include a cycle lane. The report said: “A cycle lane concept design has been considered. However, this would be relatively narrow. In addition, for it to be continuous, pedestrian islands would need to be removed and pavements narrowed in some areas. Given the very high footfall in this location and high demand for pedestrian crossings, this was not considered appropriate in this location.”
If the project goes ahead, construction work would be expected to take two years. It would be phased to reduce the adverse effect on traders.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 4pm and to be webcast on the council’s website.
Sarah Booker-Lewis , Local Democracy Reporting Service