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Redhill town centre Area Action Plan

Redhill town centre Area Action Plan

Revitalising a town centre cannot be achieved without the creation of good quality options for getting there, and a high quality experience of being there. Transport and public realm design are therefore vital ingredients of the plan. 

Civilising the ring road

A major problem for Redhill is the incursion of the town centre by-pass between the railway station  and the town centre. This dual carriageway road is heavily engineered and has a Trunk road character in the heart of the town, even though the M23 has provided a bypass since 1975. In fact the road (the former A23 trunk road) is far less urban in character in the town centre than in the suburban sections. This is contrary to what is needed, or even expected. The result is a physical and psychological barrier between the town centre and the railway station and the east side of town. Not only is it a dual carriageway, but the main junction is a large roundabout. The area occupied by the roundabout is much larger than the main pedestrian square in the town! The proposal was to remove the roundabout and to convert the by-pass into a more civilised street, and to reallocate more space to pedestrians and public transport facilities. This would improve the arrival and interchange functions of the station area.

One-way to traffic domination

Another denigrating aspect of Redhill's town centre is the one-way street system which handles traffic in an east-west direction. This was necessary in order to pedestrianise the main shopping areas (undertaken many years earlier), but it has led to the streets affected having a poor environment. Ways of improving the environment and attractiveness of these streets were offered as part of the plan.

Bus access without ambition

It is difficult in rural centres such as Redhill to promote public transport improvements. The Council has little in the way of power or responsibility for the quality of bus services, and Council members may not themselves be bus users, or even have much to do with the town itself (if their constituency is in another part of the District). The latter is an unfortunate consequence of the large Districts created by the local government reforms of 1974.

Redhill needs much better bus access (and also better access on foot and by bicycle), and there are significant opportunities for providing it. Suggestions were mapped out as part of the Area Action Plan process, but without political impetus behind them, they were never likely to get very far. One improvement that was implemented was an improved bus station. There remained concerns, however, about the longer term capacity requirements - see link to the Redhill bus station project.

LocationRedhill England
Client(s)Reigate and Banstead borough Council
Team(s)Tim Pharoah with Tribal Urban Studio and Alan Baxter Associates


Street design, ring road downgrade, traffic management, roadspace reallocation, public transport planning, station area plan, Redhill