*Isle of Wight Council Press Release
Work on Ryde Transport Interchange to provide better travel connectivity as well as a much improved public space is due to begin next month. The project is primarily funded by a government grant from the Transforming Cities Fund following a successful bid for £55.6 million by the Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council — together as South East Hampshire Rapid Transport.
Around £10 million of this has been awarded for the Ryde Transport Interchange improvements.
The Esplanade transport hub will be reorganised to provide more landscaped pedestrian space reflecting the responses received to the public consultation last year and allowing buses to leave directly to George Street rather than having to turn at the Dover Street roundabout.
There will be a new dedicated cycle route and walkway through the Esplanade along with further sign posted links to and from Ladies Walk to the west and Puckpool to the east along with new street furniture and planting throughout the Esplanade area.
The project will also see a boardwalk to be built on the tramway pier by Wightlink scheduled to start later in the spring. The refurbishment of Esplanade Station will provide a direct connection from the concourse to the boardwalk, accessible public toilets and expanded retail/cafe units. A planning application detailing the station refurbishment is anticipated in May with those works starting in the autumn.
To minimise disruption the works will be delivered in a number of phases over 12 months taking into account the major events including the Isle of Wight Festival, Tour of Britain, Ryde Carnival and the scooter rally. Regular updates on scheme progress and significant changes to traffic management will be released throughout the project.
It will all begin on Monday 4 April with works to construct the new footway and cycle route improvements between the ‘Hovertravel’ footbridge and Dover Street, (including improved pedestrian crossing facilities at the Dover Street/Esplanade Junctions). The old toilet block and cafe will also be demolished and temporary toilets provided within Western Gardens until new facilities are installed as part of the station refurbishment. This first phase should be completed by the end of July, with little impact on pedestrians or vehicles using the area.
In advance of these works commencing, a temporary work site compound will be established on the existing coach park area opposite the old ice rink, with coaches being advised to use the coach park next to Ryde Superbowl.
Councillor Phil Jordan, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “It has taken a while to prepare for this project but after extensive consultation with the public and businesses I am delighted we are about to begin work on a scheme that will deliver a much-improved public space and welcoming transport interchange for all users, both from the mainland and Island itself, making travel to and through Ryde a better, easier and more pleasant experience.
“This scheme is the result of a wide collaboration both with our local authority partners on the mainland and also with our transport operators on the Island — all supported by a government grant of £10 million that builds upon partnership working to encourage sustainable and active travel.
“I am also pleased that thought and planning has been given to reducing the impact on residents and road users during construction and that where possible, arrangements are in place to cater for the needs of the major events that rely on a fully functioning interchange.”