The Parade works – update

Works are continuing well – thank you to all our residents and visitors who are bearing with us during this time. Our contractors are working hard to keep any disruption to a minimum and are ensuring shoppers can access all our town centre businesses.  We’ll be starting on the pond soon – have a look at our updated frequently asked questions for more info about what we’ll be doing

For this update, we are going to focus on The Parade as a car-free, shared use space for cyclists and pedestrians; and look in more detail at the natural stone paving currently being laid.

Shared use space

Prior to works starting earlier this year, we looked very carefully at the pedestrian and cyclist activity in Watford town centre. We carried out various surveys, observations and analysis in order to understand how people move around.

Something we noticed was that despite having a cycle path marked out, there was, in practice, little to discourage all users sharing the space, with pedestrians walking across, and along the cycle track. The meandering path taken by the cycle track also meant it was difficult for pedestrians to avoid it. In our observations, we saw more pedestrians than cyclists using the cycle track!

Based on all the evidence we collected, it was decided to make The Parade a shared use space. Key to the success of this new space will be considerate behaviour from cyclists and pedestrians! We all have a responsibility for the safety of others we are sharing space with, especially in a busy town centre.

There was another factor in our decisions. When we spoke with residents as part of our public consultation on the redevelopment; the most popular ideas were making the area car-free and removing all the clutter. So – come spring next year, there will be plenty of room for everyone to move around.

However, during the improvement works, cyclists are being asked to get off their bikes when travelling through narrow sections of the Parade. Signs have been put up by our contractor, where the parade has been temporarily narrowed, and we would urge cyclists to pay attention to them. We are grateful for your patience and understanding during this time, but hope you agree it will all be worth it!

New natural stone paving

There’s no paving finer than natural stone; it’s been used for thousands of years; it’s incredibly strong, hard-wearing and the most respected of building materials.

On the Parade we are predominantly using granite for our paving. Traditionally this has been used in streets and public spaces due to its exceptional weathering qualities, durability and stain resistance which is unmatched by other materials.

You may have noticed that some of the newly paved areas seem dirty. This is because construction works are ongoing – in the spring, when works are complete, there will be a thorough deep-clean of the area.

A new look for the pond

We are shortly to begin works on the pond, once the bird nesting and fish spawning seasons are over. Initially, there will be a bit of a pong, possibly for up to 2 weeks – this will be caused by the silt we need to dredge and remove from the pond. Please hold your noses and bear with us during this time!

The works to the pond have been planned having taken advice from expert ecologists. The birds will naturally relocate to nearby water bodies; and the fish will be carefully removed and stored off-site in holding tanks until works are complete in the spring.

The latest incarnation of the pond will feature a new filter system, fountains and planting to improve the water quality and wildlife habitat. Both ends of the pond will have stepped seating, with a decked area at one end and a bridge to create a link from one side of the Parade to the other.

In support of local businesses, we are also looking at of the possibility of creating suitable areas for outdoor dining adjacent to the pond on the north side where the majority of the sunshine is.

For more information, have a look at Watford Borough Councils website



1 Response to “The Parade works – update”

  1. 1 Paul Jackson October 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    No mention is made of the pigeons which hang about the pond in large numbers. When the new benches are installed what is going to stop the pigeons crapping on them as they did on the old ones? A town hall official told me, on behalf of the mayor, that the benches would be regularly cleaned – surely it would be better if the pigeons were removed permanently.

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