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People First Zone

What is the People First Zone project?

The People First Zone seeks to create an environment in the town centre that puts the needs of people first. We are aiming to create high-quality spaces where people can move around freely and easily, stop and browse in shop windows or chat to a friend. Our historic streets and squares are peppered with fantastic historic buildings and the streets and squares should provide a suitable setting for them.

We consulted on plans for the area in 2022, and have since then been working on revisions to the plans to take account of feedback received and address various technical issues. We have also been working with Southern Water to introduce Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to the project. These will reduce the amount/speed of rainwater entering the sewage system and help reduce storm sewer overflows into the Media Estuary. The revised scheme provides improved parking for disabled people and much larger areas of planting than the original plans we consulted on.

You can see the current plans for the street here and download artists impressions of how the scheme might look once completed here. Please be aware that design work is still ongoing, so some changes may be made to the plans, and the artists impressions are designed to be indicative only.

Physical works are expected to commence in January 2024


Why create a People First Zone?

As traffic has grown over the years cars and other vehicles have gradually dominated the town centre’s streets. This was a key issue raised in the Newport Place Plan Survey, Newport Pedestrian Audit and Historic Places Panel Review. The environment for people walking around parts of the town is poor and doesn’t encourage people to spend time in the town. The quality of many of our streets and public spaces are poor and much more could be done to bring these spaces to life.

Where is the People First Zone

The project includes St James’ Square and the High Street between St James Square and the Guildhall.  The project budget will enable delivery of a first phase stretching from St James’ Street to Holyrood Street, with later phases to be delivered as funding can be secured.

Of course there are many other parts of the town that would also benefit from improvements and we hope this will be the start of an ongoing process of regeneration of our streets and spaces.

Project Downloads

Latest Draft Plans – March 2023

Visualisations of planned schemes (indicative) – March 2023

Parameters Plan and Concept Masterplan – June 2022

5 Phase masterplan for the High Street (with updated phase 1 and 2 option)
A first phase of this work has been taken forward on a revised basis, these plans are made available for background information and as a guide to how other areas of the town centre could be improved in future, following further design work and community engagement)

Public Consultation Report – May 2022

Project Locations