So many students cramming into one little area
which made it dangerous. It was quite a safety hazard really.
The High Street, Fishergate looks in pretty poor condition
and about to be hit by all the other major changes that are affecting retail centres.
People should be able to just dash between the shops
and you've got a very, very busy road in the middle.
I have to travel all the way down say to the traffic lights
so that I can get across the road where there could be
a drop kerb halfway along.
Sometimes with a pram it's a little bit difficult with that many people
walking on a thin pavement.
The wonderful railway station you arrive in was then a pretty disappointing exit into the city itself.
It's too crowded. It's like being in London.
Preston being classed as a city there should little more modernisation
to make it look like a city when it comes to the city centre itself.
This scheme should make Preston a better place to visit and shop for everybody.
It will be a much nicer environment.
We're quite often asked to look at streets and spaces and through design
how you can contribute to the street scene.
People will be on the street, engaging with the street in a more positive way.
Pedestrians, vehicles, buses. Everybody can use that space.
Shared space provides a way to exploit the natural negotiating skills
that we as a social animal are blessed with .
We're hoping that we can show off what Preston's got to offer with this shared space scheme
and attract new business into the city. Not only into the city centre itself but
further afield and just show what Preston is actually capable of.
We really feel that by improving the public realm in the city centre we are creating
a much better environment in which people can shop, visit and invest into the city.
It is the next big city.
Creating new areas, new parks, new spaces, new things,
new reasons to come to Preston can only be good.
We've done an awful lot of work with the disabled and partially sighted groups.
Particularly the Guide Dogs for the blind and a lot of blind residents that live in Preston.
We feel that we were really listened to in respect of the consultation process.
I'm pretty optimistic that more space is going to be given to the pedestrain.
So all the signs and the bus shelters and the A-frames that you can currently see,
all of that will be removed.
We really feel that this was add value to what not only what is going on in the city centre
but also outside of the city as well.
I think it will be a place that we will want to be in, we will want to be moving through
we want to be sitting in want to be shopping in.
It will be an experience that people will want to be here at the weekend to come and do their shopping.
It will thrill me to return and see a scheme actually on the ground.
One that doesn't just sort out a couple of problems
but actually gives Preston something of a wow factor.
Something very special.
So that when you walk out the railway station, or the bus station or you walk from the car parks,
something will just lift your spirit about this place.
And if we can lift people's spirits then the economy and all the rest the qualities of life here will come with it.
I think it's really good.
There's much more space to walk around for the public
and it looks a lot more modern aswell.
With the footfall that was coming through here before
it was a little bit like you were treading on everyone's toes as you were trying to get through.
I think it's beautiful. It's making life much easier.
We're hoping that it brings more people in
for the shopping side of it.
What we had before was three lanes with more and more cars pouring into those lanes
and basically choking up the centre.
What we've done is really quite simple.
We've narrowed it down to one lane and we've opened up the pavement,
so that people can get around the city without having to worry about the cars
and the constant congestion that was being developed here.
I think now the work is completed
on this particular section it's absolutely wonderful.
On Saturday I came up to do my usual shopping.
I had no problem crossing the roads.
Because the pavements are a lot wider, there's no tripping hazards.
Its absolutely wonderful.
There's been a little bit and disruption and inconvenience.
We really need to get the infrastructure right for Preston
if Preston's ever to be the commercial heart or centre of the Northwest.
We're pleased to say that we think it has improved the the current position on Fishergate.
When we started the scheme in October 2012, started to come up with the designs for the scheme,
there was a vacancy rate, the number of empty properties on Fishergate was about 18 percent.
We now know that vacancy rate is a about 8 percent so we've significantly reduced it
and infact the national average is nearer 12 percent so we're bucking that national trend.
Preston really needed to be competitive and improve upon
what our local competition have.
We can't make people come here but we can create the right conditions
for them to bring their businesses in and we know from talking to businesses and
major investors that
what we've done is really have been that signal of commitment and support to
private sector enterprise coming into the city center.
We really believe it's been a very positive step for Preston city centre.
This is about a living, breathing environment.
This is about the people of Preston getting what they want.