Ryde Pedestrian Zone Improvements
Latest progress - June 2023
The resurfacing of Ryde High Street from the Garfield Road junction to Star Street is one of the core HAZ projects that continues to be developed and delivery is planned for early 2024.
The project has evolved over the years, with physical work over a larger section of the town centre proposed in the early stages. However, faced with rising costs and a fixed budget, it was necessary to prioritise the work and concentrate efforts on the existing pedestrian zone.
Detailed design work is currently underway and talks are ongoing with Southern Water over the possible installation of SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) in the town to provide greening which will also serve to reduce or slow the amount of surface water entering the sewers, which will prevent this use of storm overflows. This is very important for the town, as the quality of bathing water can be affected after heavy downpours.
The last draft plans for the high street can be viewed here:
Summary of other Public Realm projects not progressed
The following paper describes projects either formally commissioned or informally requested, that through the design process were determined not to be suitable to carry further forward. The key areas of work are as
• The development of a full concept masterplan for Phase1, 2 and 3, with the refocusing of
the scope of work to the delivery of a concept masterplan for Phase 1 only.
• The completion of a study on arcades and structures.
• Footpath link from Victoria Street Car Park to the High Street, through Mill Lane at the side
of Grace’s Bakery (informal request to consider alongside the concept masterplan and
Appendix 5 – Within the paper
In late 2021, the Ryde HAZ appointed Bournemouth based urban planning and urban design practice Feria Urbanism to run a public engagement process to help
inform how the public realm in the centre of Ryde could
be improved and enhanced.
Following a research phase that included various on-site
and online engagement work, the project focused upon
the pedestrianised section of the High Street, Co-Op
Square and Minghella Square.
Design concepts around playful and interactive public
realm designs were prepared for the central section
of the street, including the two squares. The rationale
behind these concepts was based upon young people’s
experience of urban centres and were designed to
draw footfall into the heart of Ryde in a declining retail
environment. Within these designs, opportunities for a
celebration of filmmaking were explored, a recognition of
Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella’s connection
to Ryde. Alongside these concepts, proposals to improve
the gateways at either end of the pedestrianised zone
were prepared. All ideas were published on a dedicated
website and tested during a five week public
Comments were received through a survey on the
dedicated website; through participation in four separate
on-site walking tours; and through an evening Zoom
consultation. This report draws together the research
and testing phases and makes recommendations.
Getting local people involved
Prior to the full Public Consultation and online survey, in December 2021 urban planner Richard Eastham from the design practice Feria Urbanism created an innovative way for local people to get fully involved in plans for Ryde’s High Street update.
He and his colleagues brought a set of foam blocks that look rather like the ones children play with except these are super-sized for adults. The idea was to invite people to move them into different patterns to create a streetscape for different groups of people.
A group of invited representative stakeholders were asked to come along and work with Feria Urbanism, and in addition other passers by also got involved and the information received from them is just as valuable.
It was performative piece where people can collaborate and share ideas as they tackle the scenarios and challenges they are set.
Working like this with local people allowed them to establish a series of concepts which translated into workable, practical solutions.