The Strand in Torquay will have two-way traffic over the two-week Easter holiday.

We today confirm that over the two-week Easter holiday (29 March to 14 April), two lanes of traffic will be flowing along Torquay’s harbourside.

After working with businesses and traders over the past six-weeks to understand their concerns, the project team has been able to make some short-term changes to the current phase of works.

On Thursday 28 March, all current traffic management measures will be removed, and two lanes (one in each direction) of traffic will be reinstated. The change will give support to local businesses and the tourism sector during the first major school holiday of the year.

Since work started in early February on the second phase of the public realm improvement project, the area has been operating with a single shuttle lane, with four-way traffic lights in operation at all junctions. At peak times this has caused some traffic delays and frustrations from motorists travelling through the area.

Officers have started to explore options that would see the remaining phases of the project delivered in a different way. A range of options are being considered and worked through with the contractor, particularly when it comes to the timing of the road closure part of the project. The outcome of this work is expected to be shared with businesses and residents later in the spring.

To further support businesses and the tourism sector, two-way traffic will be in operation over the main summer months. Exact timings and arrangements will be confirmed in due course.

By Easter, most work on the north side of the Strand (Debenhams side) is due to be completed. Over the past few weeks drainage and pavement widening works have been taking place. The completion of this work will see a new taxi rank and loading bay open and operational.

Over on the south (harbour) side, the area has been cleared and levelled out, ready for large tree pits to be dug that will be home to 14 new trees. In addition, an environmentally beneficial

Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDS) will be installed. Once this work is completed, new paving will start to be laid and more areas will gradually be reopened to the public.

Significant changes since work began in November 2023, include the opening of the new bus hub on Cary Parade. Buses that previously stopped along the Strand, now stop on Cary Parade, with new shelters in place for waiting passengers. Buses no longer need to travel along the Strand and loop around the Clocktower, instead they turn right out of Fleet Street and onto the new bus hub. Motorists are also able to turn right upon their exit from Fleet Walk car park.

Future aspects of the project include incorporating the Clocktower into the public realm space, expanding the footpath at the Torwood Street / Strand junction, providing dedicated lanes for cyclists, installing a new tribute to Agatha Christie and relaying tramlines that were discovered during the first phase of the project.

Orange markings along the pavement and highway are an indication of where the new kerb lines will be.

Cllr Chris Lewis, Cabinet Member for Place Development and Economic Growth for Torbay Council; said; “This project is the first of three projects that will significantly enhance and improve the overall look and feel of Torquay’s harbourside.

“After visiting the site this week, the reality of what we are looking to create really became apparent when I saw how much space there will be for people to enjoy against the beautiful backdrop of the harbour.

“We know, delivering this project has caused some challenges to the business community. Officers are regularly meeting with and talking with business representatives to understand their concerns. Where possible changes are being made, solutions are being trialled, and ideas are being considered. Thought it also being given to longer-term options to support the area once this £4million project is completed.

“With Easter just weeks away, we hope the reinstating of two-way traffic shows the community we are listening to them and that we will continue to listen to them and keep them informed.

“It’s important that we all share the message that Torquay’s harbourside, businesses, and car parks, are open as usual throughout all phases of the project.”

Advice for accessing the harbourside.

  • All businesses and car parks are open as usual.
  • Beat the queues, if you can, park a bit further away and walk in, or travel by bus.
  • If you just use the area to get from one end of the town to the other, to make your journey quicker, consider taking an alternative route.
  • If travelling from the sea front / Paignton direction, use Shedden Hill or Fleet Walk car parks.
  • If travelling from Babbacombe, use Harbour, Beacon Quay or Meadfoot Road car parks.

The Strand public realm project which is due for completion in the autumn has been made possible after we secured £21.9million of Town Deal Funding to deliver the Torquay Town Investment Plan.

The community can stay up to date with this project and other projects happening in Torquay by signing up to the Torquay Projects newsletter

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