Value: £290,000

Client: Stockport Council

Start Date: July 2019

Finish Date: December 2019 

We were tasked with aesthetically upgrading an area linking Stockport station to the town centre as part of Stockport Council's Town Centre Access Plan (TCAP), a package of measures which aims to transform accessibility and connectivity to and around Stockport town centre.  The existing paving was tired and dated, so we were brought in to remove some steps so that the ground could be reprofiled to lay new paving.  The works included paving and kerbing upgrades, landscape works of tree and flower planters, and pedestrian scale lighting improvements of streetlights and illuminated furniture.  This scheme aimed to widen the pedestrianised area and enhance the surroundings for the public to enjoy. 

From previous collaborations with Stockport Council, we already had a good understanding of the aims and expectations for a TCAP scheme, which eased the starting process with Exchange Square.  Our client fundamentally wanted to improve the look of the area linking Stockport station and the town centre, where the existing paving was tired and dated concrete.  We held ECI meetings with the appointed designers to discuss layout, materials and drainage works, and carried out our own site investigations to map out existing drains with probes and services with GPR scans.

Our main challenge was managing the heavy pedestrian traffic, as the works were located along the main route between Stockport station to the town centre.  We were sited within a fully pedestrianised area which required us to compose a traffic management plan specifically tailored to foot traffic.  Due to the heavy footfall of people accessing Stockport station and town centre, as well as a nearby swimming pool and hotel, we dedicated a full-time pedestrian Traffic Safety Officer to engage with the surroundings and ensure we upheld a safe and clean route for the public.  To ensure we met the client's demands and always maintained a pedestrian walkway, we broke down our works into 8 smaller phases and worked within a restricted site.  High fencing was erected to separate the public from and our active site, and access to hotel fire exits and a swimming pool entrance were upheld via the designated walkways.  Our wagons were too large to access the narrow area which meant we had to double handle and move materials out with dumpers, resulting in a lot of machinery movements. During these operations, we always positioned two Traffic Safety Officer's at either end of the site to personally manage the flow of foot traffic and ensure pedestrians passed safely and securely.  

We understood that funding played a part in restricting the area for the pedestrian street upgrade, and so we offered our services to reuse existing paving that was in the best condition to repair damaged flags that were located outside our site.  With contributions like these, we were able to maximise our efforts and create a more aesthetically pleasing surrounding for public use that extended beyond our intended working site.  We completed the works within the revised designs, pricing, and programme, and worked flexibly to accommodate delays on specialist materials.