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New route through Nottingham city centre to open for first time in 50 years

todayJune 16, 2022 1

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For the first time since the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre opened in the 1970s a direct route connecting Nottingham city centre to the southern reaches will open “later this summer”. The new route will allow people to witness the western side of the former shopping centre be transformed into a new green space called Lister Square.

The route from Carrington Street, across Canal Street and into Lister Gate was once uninterrupted before the shopping centre was built. In fact a famous landmark, which no longer exists today, once even stood in the area. Called the Walter Fountain, at the junction of Greyfriar Gate, Lister Gate and Carrington Street, the landmark was designed in a Victorian-Gothic style in 1866 having been commissioned by John Walter, son of John Walter of Bear-Wood.

It was demolished in 1958 when the road was widened. And soon a barrier between the south and the city centre would be created in the form of the new shopping centre.

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Since the 1970s pedestrians had to venture through the centre and across Collin Street, which soon became a busy route for motor traffic, to reach Nottingham Railway Station. Canal Street, which is now strictly a bus-only route, was similarly busy with vehicles up until the regeneration of the Greater Broad Marsh area which has included vast pedestrianisation.

After intu’s collapse and its vision for the centre was left buried beneath the rubble Nottingham City Council has fully-owned the site. A new vision, featuring 700 homes, a new green space, retail and food offers, a hotel and a new entrance to the caves has since been unveiled.

As part of this a new route is now set to open in the summer, replacing the current tunnel, which started out life as a bleak and unsightly entrance into the city centre from the railway station. It comes as the new Broad Marsh car park opened last year, while the first National Express coaches left from the revamped bus station in June.

City Council leader and Dales ward councillor, David Mellen, said: “There are huge changes underway in the Broad Marsh area, with vastly improved streets creating pleasant areas to walk and relax, along with the new car park that’s already open, bus station that’s now started running coach services and the Central Library where fit-out gets underway this summer.

“Of course, one of the major changes is the demolition of the former shopping centre, which makes way for a fantastic vision of what could replace it. We’re pleased that this phase of demolition is now nearing completion, allowing us to open up a new open air pedestrian route between the Southside and city centre for the first time in almost fifty years.

“This is a small but significant step towards creating a reimagined gateway to the city that will play an important role in Nottingham’s future, making it a more attractive and accessible part of the city.”



How the area could look
How the area could look

Contractors Willmott Dixon have now demolished a substantial section of the shopping centre, including areas most recently occupied by Argos, BHS, Boots and TK Maxx among others, and the council now says it is possible to provide a pedestrian link between Collin Street and Lister Gate.

The new route will open later this summer with the previous covered walkway being closed. The walkway will be four metres wide, with lighting, CCTV and bollards at either end, fenced off from the demolition site either side with windows to see progress on the so-called Lister Square green heart space.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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