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The Strand: Harbour Public Realm

Find out more about the work we are doing to regenerate The Strand and Harbourside in Torquay.

How The Strand on Torquay Harbour will look after the regeneration.

The information on this page was updated on 1 February 2024.

Changes have been made to the timescales. There were some delays to the first phase of the project which were completely out of our control and required utility providers to attend to make safe and/or relocate the services. Other Phase 1 work continued as normal.

The Strand is one of the best urban public spaces in the Bay. It’s the part of Torquay that most residents and visitors know.

The community have been working with us since 2018 to help us develop the plans. Together we have turned a vision into a reality.

Delivering the project

This is the biggest transformation project that Torquay has seen in decades. We have appointed Montel Civil Engineering to deliver it.

Work is due to start early November 2023. We expect it to be complete in the Autumn of 2024.

The work will be in five separate phases.

Phase 1 – November to January 2024

Work began in early November and was completed by the end of January. 

The first phase of work saw:

  • Traffic reduced to a single lane in both directions along the Strand
  • Removal and re-construction of the central islands. This included the removal of all traffic lights and pedestrian crossings
  • Relocation of bus stops and introducing temporary stops
  • The taxi rank in Cary Parade relocated to Vaughan Road (opposite the Pavilion)
  • Relocation of loading bays from the east side of Victoria Parade to the opposite side of the road
  • The site compound set up on the footway outside of the Pavilion

Phase 2 – February to June 2024

Works to begin on Monday 5 February 2024. We expect this phase of the project to take 18-weeks.

During Phase 2, traffic management measures will be in place.

The Strand will be reduced to a single lane of traffic. Traffic management measures will be in operation at the junctions of:

  • Torwood Street
  • Victoria Parade
  • Strand junctions

We expect traffic delays. If possible, we advise using an alternative route. Please note the suggested alternative route will not be signed until Phase 3 of the project.

Buses

  • Buses will be able to access Fleet Street from Cary Parade
  • All bus stops from the south side of the Strand will be relocated to Cary Parade
  • There will be a new bus stop at the bottom of Fleet Street

Details of alternative bus stop locations are below.

Phase 2 bus stop adjustments
Provider Route Temporary stop
Stagecoach 12 Cary Parade (former taxi rank)
Stagecoach 22 Torwood Street
Stagecoach 122 N/A summer only service
Stagecoach 31 Arcades on Cary Parade
Stagecoach 32C Torwood Street
Stagecoach 35A Cary Parade or Arcades
Stagecoach MS4 TBC. Location will be flexible as only one service a week.
Stagecoach MS5 TBC. Location will be flexible as only one service a week.
Torbay Buses 62 Torwood Street
Torbay Buses 64 Victoria Parade

Taxi ranks

  • The taxi rank previously on Cary Parade moved to Vaughan Road during phase 1
  • The taxi rank on Victoria Parade will operate with no changes
  • Taxi provision is also available on Torwood Street

Pedestrians

  • There will be a route into the road on the north side, Hoopers to Debenhams. Segregated barriers will be in place
  • There will be other temporary pedestrian routes within the existing carriageway. The locations will be flexible to suit site working conditions
  • There will be safe crossing points

Harbour/Victoria Parade access

  • Single carriage vehicle access to the harbour and Victoria Parade
  • Traffic management measures will be in place

Access to Fleet Walk car park

Motorists can continue to enter Fleet Walk car park as usual.

There will be a mandatory right turn on exit.

Fleet Street

Remains open to 2-way (permitted only) traffic.

Loading bays

Loading bays will be relocated from the east side of Victoria Parade to the opposite side of the road. This is to minimise the loss of footway space. There will be a dropped kerb for deliveries.

Loading bays for businesses along the Strand are being discussed with individual businesses. We want to understand their delivery arrangements (size of vehicle, frequency, and times). Montel Civil Engineering will use this information to put a management plan together.

Phase 3 – Summer 2024

Exact dates will be confirmed in due course. This phase of the project will require the Strand to be closed to all traffic for approximately 8 weeks.

Diversion routes will be in place for all traffic to divert them away from the harbour area.

During this phase of work is when the biggest changes to the road layout will be made.

Buses

  • All bus stops operating from Cary Parade
  • Travelling down Fleet Walk will turn right towards stops on Cary Parade
  • Buses can enter Fleet Walk from Cary Parade

Taxi ranks

  • The taxi rank on Cary Parade was moved to Vaughan Road during phase 1
  • The taxi rank on Victoria Parade will operate with no changes
  • Taxi provision is also available on Torwood Street

Pedestrians

Pedestrian routes and safe crossing points will be provided.

Harbour/Victoria Parade access

  • Single carriageway vehicle access to the harbour and Victoria Parade will be via the Torwood Street junction
  • Traffic management measures will be in place.

Traffic lights

The use of temporary traffic lights is currently being planned. Discussions are ongoing to see if a ‘Priority Give Way’ system can be used instead.

We will confirm final details in due course.

Access to Fleet Walk car park

Motorists can continue to enter Fleet Walk car park as usual.

There will be a mandatory right turn on exit.

Fleet Street

Remains open to 2-way (permitted only) traffic.

Loading bays

Loading bays will be relocated from the east side of Victoria Parade to the opposite side of the road. This is to minimise the loss of footway space. There will be a dropped kerb for deliveries.

Loading bays for businesses along the Strand are being discussed with individual businesses. We want to understand their delivery arrangements (size of vehicle, frequency, and times). Montel Civil Engineering will use this information to put a management plan together.

Cyclists

Arrangements to be confirmed.

Other access

We are still considering general access for deliveries and nearby businesses.

Phase 4 – Summer/Autumn 2024

Exact dates will be confirmed in due course.

The road closure will be lifted. Traffic will be able to pass through the Strand using the new layout. This includes accessing the harbour and Victoria Parade from the Strand.

We will reduce Cary Parade to a single lane running in both directions.

Buses

  • Cary Parade eastbound. All bus stops will close outside the arcades. There will be alternative arrangements between Torbay Road, Fleet Street and Torwood Street
  • Cary Parade westbound. All bus stops opposite the arcades will remain open and operational

Taxi ranks

  • The taxi rank on Cary Parade was moved to Vaughan Road during phase 1
  • The taxi rank on Victoria Parade will operate with no changes
  • Taxi provision is also available on Torwood Street.

Pedestrians

Pedestrian routes and safe crossing points will be provided.

Harbour/Victoria Parade access

Vehicles will be able to access the harbour / Victoria Parade from the Strand.

Traffic lights

The use of temporary traffic lights is currently being planned. Discussions are ongoing to see if a ‘Priority Give Way’ system can be used instead.

We will confirm final details in due course.

Access to Fleet Walk car park

Motorists can continue to enter Fleet Walk car park as usual.

There will be a mandatory right turn on exit.

Fleet Street

Remains open to 2-way (permitted only) traffic.

Loading bays

Loading bays will be relocated from the east side of Victoria Parade to the opposite side of the road. This is to minimise the loss of footway space. There will be a dropped kerb for deliveries.

Loading bays for businesses along the Strand are being discussed with individual businesses. We want to understand their delivery arrangements (size of vehicle, frequency, and times). Montel Civil Engineering will use this information to put a management plan together.

Cycling

Arrangements to be confirmed.

Phase 5 final surfacing - Autumn 2024

Exact dates will be confirmed in due course.

This work will take place once all other works are complete.

We are considering various options. This includes out-of-hours working, including nighttime working. These discussions are ongoing to understand the environmental impact of these activities.

We will provide final details in due course.

Project summary

Creating a space that is:

  • Well-connected
  • The vibrant place to go
  • High quality
  • Modern

We will do this by:

Minimising traffic on The Strand

  • Right bus turn at the bottom of Fleet Walk
  • Replacing roundabout junction incorporating the Clock Tower into the public realm
  • Relocating taxi rank and loading bays to the northern side

Increasing and enhancing pedestrian areas

  • Widening of pedestrian routes to make room for more dining, seating and planted areas
  • New high quality surface material, feature lighting and street furniture

Improved connectivity

  • Segregated cycle path
  • Public transport hub
  • Wayfinding and interactive boards

Cultural activation

  • Space for events such as food festivals and music events
  • Agatha Christie arts commission

Funding

This project is being funded by Town Deal funding.

Organisations working on project

  • Torbay Council
  • TDA
  • Torbay Culture
  • Montel Civil Engineering

Keeping up to date with this project

The best way to stay up to date with this project is by signing up for the Torquay Projects newsletter.

We understand that you might have lots of questions. You can find more information below.

When Montel will arrive on site and how long the works will take

The site compound will start to be set up during the first week of November 2023. We expect that the scheme will be completed by the Autumn of 2024.

How it will affect traffic

Some phases of the works will need temporary traffic management to manage traffic flow in the area. We will give advance warnings of any changes in a range of ways along with signage in the area.

Bus stops and taxi ranks

Some phases of works will see alternative arrangements for bus stops and taxi ranks. We will tell you about all changes in advance. You can find details of arrangements can under each phase of the works above. Anyone using public transport should check for the latest route and timetabling information. This can be found on individual operators websites.

Phase 1 of the project sees the release of the taxi rank from Cary Parade to its new location at Cary Green (opposite the Pavilion).

The new taxi rank will have space for 2-3 vehicles at any given time.

To safely facilitate passengers entering / exiting taxis, a short section of the path behind the existing kerb line will be introduced. The back of the path (which will be on Cary Green) will have a standard concrete back edge kerb with bollards to deter motorists from accessing Cary Green.

In the short term, the temporary footpath will be made up with a stone material. Once conditions are more suitable (after the winter months) a more permanent footpath will be laid, ensuring the material is in-keeping with Cary Green.

It is anticipated that the new rank will be operational by Friday 22 December 2023, before the site closes for the Christmas and New Year period.

Days Montel will be working

Generally, Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 6pm. Work may sometimes go beyond these times to complete specific activities. No works will be undertaken on Bank Holidays and Sundays. Montel is not permitted to work in hours of darkness. There will no unnecessary light or noise after dark.

CCTV recording on site

Montel will have CCTV cameras set up to film the site. They will not be recording local businesses or the public. If an alarm is activated outside of site working hours:

  • Montel will be notified by the company monitoring the CCTV
  • they will arrange for a key holder to attend the site to investigate
  • the police will be called if required

Our security team will also be monitoring the site.

Why we are closing the road at the start of the summer

We recognise that there is never a good time to close a road. Unfortunately, it took us longer than expected to secure a contractor. This was largely due to external pressures and challenges in the construction sector.

Once we had a contractor secured, we wanted to make sure this got this project underway as soon as possible. We know the community wanted us to get started on our regeneration projects.

We also needed to ensure that we spent the Town Deal Funding we secured within the time frame. If we didn't there was risk that we would lose it.

Mud, noise, and dust

Regular cleaning of the highways leading into the works area will be undertaken. This is to ensure highways are clear of debris for the duration of the works.

The machinery used has the latest technology in noise suppression. Noise levels will be monitored throughout the day. This is to make sure they are within acceptable levels. Any high noise levels will only take place between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Due to the nature of the works, dust creation may occur. Dust barriers and water suppression will reduce the impact of any dust.

Why the road is closed during Phase 3

This will be when most of the changes to the road layout will be made.

There is never a good time to close a road. The works required during this phase could not be carried out just with traffic management measures in place.

We considered options around using traffic management measures. This would have added on extra time to delivering the project. It would have meant the measures being place over the busiest summer months.

We also thought about closing the entire stretch of the road to enable delivery of all phases. We considered this option not to be acceptable. This is due to the impact it would have had on businesses, residents, and the local economy.

How we are helping businesses affected by the works

We are working with members of the Torquay Town Board. We want to put in place a range of measures to support businesses in the area.

Options currently being considered but not yet agreed include:

  • parking concessions
  • offering pavement licences
  • providing clarity on the process for anyone wanting to organise an event in the town centre.

We will provide further information in due course.

We are keen to hear from businesses, let us know your thoughts. We want to know what you as a community could do to attract visitors and footfall to the area.

How to stay up to date with the project

Torbay Council via:

Montel via:

  • face-to-face meetings
  • emails
  • newsletters
  • social media

Who to contact if you have a problem

Montel has a dedicated Community Relations team to assist local residents and businesses. They will deal with any queries, questions, or concerns about the work.

Why we are making these changes

The changes are part of the Town Deal Board’s Town Investment Plan for the whole of the town centre.

The community has been instrumental in designing the new look space. Creative engagement which started in 2018. The community said they wanted to see:

  • less traffic
  • better public transport connections
  • more space for pedestrians and events
  • a high-quality, vibrant space

What about emergency access

Emergency vehicles will be able to access the area at all times.

How to prepare your business

We suggest that you share information about the programme of works with your:

  • suppliers
  • waste management companies
  • contractors

What is happening with Debenhams.

We are in the process of appointing a demolition contractor. We are always looking at how we can best align the works at the former Debenhams building and the Strand public realm works. We want to minimise disruption and deliver the outcomes that the community has asked for.

What is happening with the existing trees and planting

The overall planting strategy is to deliver high-quality low maintenance landscaping; with year-round permanent shrubs, lasting planting, and new trees to create an attractive and green space. 

Increasingly, local authorities have moved away from seasonal bedding plants in favour of permanent planting in a bid to reduce maintenance commitments together with a reduction in energy that typically goes into bedding plants.

This scheme will include biodiverse coastal specific planting mixes which will improve habitat and long-term biodiversity provision, absorbing particulates from vehicle fumes. The planting strategy also forms an integral part of the drainage strategy. The Strand will benefit from high quality landscaping and will benefit from longer-term planting as Royal Terrace gardens has.

The removal of the existing central reservation, which contains varieties of palm along with other soft landscaping, is needed to form the new carriageway alignment. The existing planting will be removed as it was not deemed to be suitable for replanting and the trees were in very poor health due to the environment they were planted and therefore difficult to salvage.

It is not possible to safely remove the trees and their roots as a whole without damaging them due to the restricted space in which they have been planted and the underground services which run around or through the roots.

The two large existing trees on Vaughan Parade are being retained. Similarly, the trees fronting the new bus bays on Cary Parade will also be retained. During the works the contractor will work around these carefully to avoid any damage to the canopy or roots during the works.

Further planting will be removed from sections of the Strand in mid-December. The removal work will happen in stages. Our contractors Montel Civil Engineering will be carefully removing the palms and planting. We are already working with community representatives on how they can make use of this planting elsewhere in the community. Planting that cannot be reused will be taken away by a green waste contractor.

A separate contractor will be removing approximately 5 trees from the harbourside. It is not possible to offer these trees to the community due to their deep bedded roots and the sheer size of them.

The realignment of the carriageway and pedestrianised spaces, proximity to new seating, and the number of underground services mean the retention of these tress is not possible.

There is an environmental focus on the new scheme to ensure the space includes new trees. The current proposals include planting of 14 new plane tree species.

Loading and unloading on Fleet Street and the Strand

Only buses or emergency service vehicles are permitted in Fleet Street between 10am and 6pm.

Between 6pm and 10am, only buses, emergency service vehicles, and goods vehicles are permitted in Fleet Street. This means that loading and unloading on Fleet Street by goods vehicles should only happen between these hours. We kindly ask that businesses time their deliveries accordingly to avoid any enforcement action being taken.

Standard passenger vehicles are not permitted to enter the Fleet Street pedestrian zone at any time, other than for access purposes prescribed in traffic regulation orders regarding properties on Braddons Hill Road West, The Terrace, and Swan Street. The police may issue a fixed penalty notice to any driver seen to be in breach of the prohibition of driving restrictions.

Failure to comply with these restrictions will result in an PCN being issued by the Council, or a fixed penalty notice issued by the police.

Following the removal of the goods vehicle loading bay on the Strand, the nearest loading bays for businesses can be found on either Torwood Street or Victoria Parade.

Businesses around the Strand (excluding Fleet Street businesses) are encouraged to contact Montel Civil Engineering regarding any specific delivery access requirements. Where possible, particularly for large vehicles, Montel Civil Engineering will advise you on the best course of action.

How to promote your business while the work is taking place.

We recommend looking at the High Streets Task Force website. There are free resources to support you and your business, including:

  • case studies
  • evidence
  • webinars
  • best practice information

The TDA also offer some great information, support and advice.

Contact Web and Systems Team