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Upgrades to Forest Hall shopping area begin

Work to carry out a programme of improvements to the Forest Hall shopping area is underway.

North Tyneside Council’s major scheme of enhancements to the public realm is aimed at creating a welcoming ‘village feel’ for residents and visitors.

The plans have been developed following extensive consultation with residents and businesses at a series of drop-in events earlier in the year which has helped shaped the eventual design and concept.

The work will see more parking spaces created, the introduction of traffic calming measures, upgrades to pavements and existing street furniture replaced.

The aim is to create a more inclusive and aesthetically pleasing environment, reallocate space to pedestrians and cyclists, create open spaces, increase business use and turnover and improve the parking allocation.

Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “I am delighted that our ambitious scheme of improvements to transform the shopping centre in Forest Hall has begun.

“The shopping area is a much-appreciated and very busy local amenity and provides a lively and varied shopping environment for residents and visitors.

“We have listened to feedback from local people and businesses to draw up a number of enhancements which will greatly benefit everyone.”

Cllr Janet Hunter, on behalf of the three ward councilors, said: “The village is a busy local centre and is very much valued by local residents. This investment will make it more attractive for both shoppers and businesses.

“We’re delighted that in these times of financial cuts to the council budget, the Elected Mayor has listened to local councillors and residents and has prioritised investment in the regeneration work.”

Mark Hawkins, Managing Director of Schmööze, a new drinks bar to open in the area, said: “The improvements will be a great addition to the local area. As a relatively new business to Forest Hall we are more than happy and are looking forward to the benefits.

“The increased parking will make a real difference to shoppers, new visual improvements such as seating and paving are very welcomed and will certainly modernise the overall look and bring it more in line with today’s standards.

“A relatively small inconvenience for an overall future benefit is certainly welcomed.”

The work, which is being carried out by the council’s partner Capita, got underway on Monday (19 November) and is due for completion by spring 2019.

The run-up to Christmas is a very busy time for everyone, shoppers and local businesses alike, so the construction team has programmed the work to cause minimal disruption during this busy period.

Between now and Christmas, there will be some temporary traffic signals introduced at the Station Road/Lansdowne Road junction – but these will only be used when absolutely necessary and only during off-peak (9.30am – 3.30pm) hours.

A plan of the Forest Hall improvement scheme is on permanent display at Forest Hall Library and can also be viewed on the council website at www.northtyneside.gov.uk

If you would like to receive a regular email bulletin with the latest information about the progress of this scheme, please send an email to: ForestHallTeam@northtyneside.gov.uk simply putting 'Subscribe' in the subject line – and if you have any queries during the project, email: ForestHallTeam@northtyneside.gov.uk or call (0191) 643 6500.

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