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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. The health and environmental benefits of greening our town centre can’t be ignored, and Newport is the capital of the Isle of Wight biosphere, so we’ll also be looking at how we can introduce more greenery to the town and crate new urban biodiversity opportunities.


Why create a People First Zone?

As traffic has grown over the years cars and other vehicles have gradually dominated the town centres 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

When the project was originally designed it included St James’ Square and the High Street between St James Square and the Guildhall. Based on early public feedback we have now extended the length of the High Street that we are including, to take in the stretch from Mill Street to St James’ Street. The project budget may not enable delivery of  all the physical works, but will include design work and delivery of a first phase, 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.

How can I get involved?

Making sure we get the best result within the limits of the funding we have available means we need your help. We’re gathering public feedback about what you like, dislike and would like to see improved in the People First Zone through an online map. It’s easy to contribute, just visit

We’ll also be delivering the whole project on a community codesign basis, so we’ll be involving local people throughout the design process, alongside urban designers, transport planners and highway engineers to make sure we get the best solutions for the community. If you leave an email address when you comment on the map we can keep you updated as the project moves forward.

Project Locations