Lancaster Canal Quarter – follow-up workshop

Another visit to the Town Hall Banqueting Suite for Dynamo to attend the second part of the stakeholder event which Jim covered earlier this month.  Patricia got the gig this time.

The consultants, Planit-IE, are working on an emerging “Strategic Regeneration Framework” which they will present to the City Council later in the summer.  This framework focuses on

  • land use (e.g. cultural, retail, residential, car parking)
  • heritage
  • movement (i.e. vehicle, cycle and pedestrian routes through the site)
  • public open space (including “pocket parks”)

and the workshop participants discussed the outlines in small groups.  Having spoken up for north-south and east-west cycle permeability through the site and made sure that the facilitator had written it down, Dynamo was free to sit back and listen to what others had to say.  Everything is still on a wish-list and there is no word yet on how this is to be funded, but for the moment it’s invigorating to imagine – for example – a small amphitheatre linking the upper level by the canal to the lower level at Edward Street.  There are also practicalities to consider: for instance, for each Dukes live performance, a large vehicle has to be able to access the rear of the building, so closing Brewery Lane to all traffic is impossible.

Several people commented how “unknown” the canal area was; there is no reason to go there unless you’re going to the car park, and few people were aware of all the access points onto the canal.  This indicated that more needs to be done to signpost ways through the site.  There may be the opportunity to do this during a proposed “late summer festival” around Brewery Lane/Lodge Street, which would be held to publicise the statutory consultation period once the framework is completed.

A document summarising consultation outcomes to date was circulated.  More information was given about the youth workshop earlier this month (to which Jim was not invited!): 20 young people from Escape2Make walked around the site and gave their views.  They liked parks/open spaces and walkability of Lancaster; they found the traffic, blank walls and general air of run-downness of the Canal Quarter unwelcoming, and feeling safe was a major preoccupation.

More about the Canal Quarter on the Lancaster City Council website.

About lancasterdynamo

Dynamo is a cycling group, established in 1994, to work with official bodies, other cycling organisations and interested individuals to promote cycling as a safe, enjoyable and healthy means of transport.
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