Cotswold town moves to spruce its image
By Simon Hacker | 12th October 2023
Bolder and bigger gateway signs are among key measures for a Cotswold town pushing to raise its profile and spruce up its image.
Town councillors in Stroud (STC) have liaised with Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) to install four brown tourism signs at key entry points to the town: Painswick Road, Cainscross Road, Bath Road and London Road.
The 1m by 0.5m signs will replace Stroud's current plaques which publicise the community's status as a "Britain in Bloom Town" and are expected to emphasise the community as the home of Stroud's Museum in Park, at Stratford Park, and the Cotswold Playhouse theatre venue on Parliament Street.
However the signs are far from cheap. Highways England provides the promotional signage to a strict specification and installation costs from £8,000 to £20,000 per sign, depending on the location.
The government's overseer of motorways and A roads states that the cost includes ensuring that "signage is appropriate and installed safely. Highways England may also need to take into account the cost of future maintenance."
STC's Regeneration Committee will also be updated when it meets today on various requests to Stroud District Council's Community Services to address "concerns that the town centre had begun to look increasingly untidy and uncared for".
In response to the STC requests, Gemma Webb, SDC Community Services officer, said she had patrolled the town to look at key areas of concern and STC's specific request for more cigarette and gum bins. A new cigarette bin would consequently be added to the wall outside Bedford Street's public conveniences.
She added: "There does not seem to be any cigarette disposal provision outside Wetherspoons [pub, The Lord John], the vast majority of cigarette disposal in the area will likely be generated from Wetherspoons patrons."
She said she would duly speak to the general manager of the Russell Street pub to request that Wetherspoons install a cigarette bin.
Additional impovements include the likely introduction of real-time passenger information (RTPI) boards to the Merrywalks bus stops, near the Five Valleys Shopping Centre.
An STC spokesperson said: "Gloucestershire County Council own and maintain the bus shelters at Merrywalks and intend to undertake improvement work on them. They have applied for Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding from SDC. This is understood to include new bus shelters with green roofs or solar panels, and improved seating.
The town council has committed to spend £16,000 towards the purchase and installation of the RTPI boards, as part of its Levelling Up Fund bid. Improved seating, green roofs and solar panels are also planned for the bus stops.
STC had meanwhile urged SDC to "remove stickers and graffiti on street furniture and tidy up lamp posts and claims that "the three most prolific offenders" are Stroud Valleys Artspace, The Prince Albert pub in Rodborough and The Crown and Sceptre in Horns Road.
STC asked: Can SDC Environmental Health officers speak to fly posting venues? Then if they persist send warning letters to repeat offenders and prosecute any that fail to comply."
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