• Developer: Crawley Borough Council
  • Status: Pipeline
  • Website: Not specified
  • Type: Public realm

The Western Boulevard scheme improvement works are scheduled to begin during the week commencing Monday 11 March, taking place weekdays thereafter between 8am and 6pm for the duration of the works. For further details, please see the phase plan map and what to expect during the works.

Western Boulevard is a public realm and highways improvement scheme being delivered as part of the Crawley Growth Programme as an extension to the Eastern Gateway scheme, completed in 2022. Funded by the UK Government Bus Service Improvement Plan, the scheme will improve bus facilities in the north of the town centre by widening the junction between the Boulevard and the Broadway. Visit gov UK's website for more information.

The changes will accommodate an additional dedicated bus lane for buses turning right into the Broadway and an ongoing eastbound traffic lane, allowing cars to keep moving whilst the bus turns. It is anticipated that the overall scheme changes will benefit circa 10 million bus users per annum through improved journey times.

In addition, the scheme will continue the segregated cycle tracks on The Boulevard completing the link to the existing cycle infrastructure on the High Street, providing better connectivity around the town centre. New paving for the pedestrian footways in the same style as the paving already delivered at the eastern end of the north side of the Boulevard.

Western Boulevard - current

Western Boulevard - artist's impression

Works timeline and traffic management

Start dates for later phases will be announced closer to the time. Our aim is for the scheme work phases to be completed by the end of November 2024, the website will provide updates on progress.

Phases 2 to 5 will require the implementation of a traffic management system, further details will be provided ahead of phase 2.

Phase 1 - location: The Boulevard, Southern Service Road. Anticipated construction duration: two months

Works begin during the week of 11 March, approximate duration two months. Realignment of the service road to convert it to a bi-directional access to the car park and businesses. Stop up of exit road for vehicles from southern service road to The Broadway, making it pedestrian and cyclist only. Access to businesses and the NCP car park is not anticipated to be affected during this time.

Phase 2 - location: The Boulevard, west of the junction with The Broadway

Realignment of the west footway outside NatWest and the southern footway on The Boulevard between The Broadway and High Street. Localised and temporary disruption to business access is anticipated during this time, but access will be maintained at all times.

Phase 3 - location: The Boulevard, northern kerb line west of the western junction with The Broadway, North Service Road

Realignment of the northern verge kerb line on The Broadway between High Street and the junction with the access to Crawley Museum to allow for carriageway widening and the introduction of a new eastbound Bus Lane and ongoing traffic lane. Access to the Museum and 5 The Boulevard will be unaffected.

Phase 4 - location: The Boulevard, northern kerb line east of the eastern junction with The Broadway, North Service Road

Realignment of the access road junction closer to the Platform building apartments, the construction of the eastbound cycle lane and connecting with the existing eastbound cycle lane towards the Northgate Avenue Roundabout. Footway paving works will also take place at this location.

Phase 5 - location: The Boulevard, northern kerb line between the western and eastern access to The Broadway, North Service Road

Completion of the eastbound cycle lane which connecting the High Street with Northgate Avenue Roundabout. Upgraded pedestrian/cycle parallel crossing on The Boulevard, footway paving works will also take place at this location.

Western Boulevard Scheme

For further information about the Western Boulevard scheme see below.

Why is the scheme required?

The scheme has been designed to improve transport facilities in the town centre. The amendments to the junction at the Boulevard and the Broadway will enable improved bus journey times by giving priority to buses turning at the junction of the Boulevard and Broadway, along with new sections of bus lane on the Boulevard west of this junction.

The scheme will create a vital link between the existing cycle infrastructure on the High Street and the proposed cycle infrastructure being implemented through the Eastern Gateway project, providing better connectivity between the High Street and the rest of the town centre. Introducing a new segregated east and west cycle tracks along the Boulevard and a new parallel crossing on the Boulevard will enable people travelling by foot or by bike to cross the Boulevard more easily and safely and with their own dedicated space.

The scheme will enable eastbound traffic to continue their journey without waiting for buses turning right into the Broadway reducing congestion.

The works will soften the urban landscape and reduce the dominance of tarmac surfaces, creating a pleasant environment for people in the Town Centre, supporting key development opportunities at the Town Hall, County Buildings, Telford Place and Crawley College.

Where is the scheme?

The scheme covers the western end of the Boulevard in the town centre.

What does the scheme include?

The Western Boulevard Scheme includes the following improvements and changes:

  • Widening the junction to include an additional dedicated bus lane for buses turning right into the Broadway and a lane for ongoing traffic traveling eastbound on The Boulevard, allowing the cars to keep moving whilst the bus turns
  • Improved cycle facilities by continuing the segregated cycle tracks on The Boulevard completing the link to the existing cycle infrastructure on the High Street
  • Introduction of a parallel crossing to enable people travelling by foot or by bike to cross The Boulevard more easily and safely and with their own dedicated space
  • Modal filters applied to one service roads off The Boulevard, improving pedestrian and cyclist’s safety
  • Improved landscaping
  • Quality materials

Who is delivering the project?

Through the Crawley Growth Programme; Crawley Borough Council is the lead authority for this project.

When will the scheme be built?

It is anticipated that construction of the scheme will commence in the early part of 2024. Further announcements will be made, and regular updates will be made to the Invest Crawley website.

Will the local community be affected during construction?

Crawley Borough Council will be working closely with the construction contractor to ensure that any disruption is kept to a reasonable minimum, taking into account the type and scale of the works.

We will communicate relevant information in a timely manner using appropriate media channels to ensure that everyone is kept informed as the scheme progresses.

How will the improvements impact the area?

Traffic modelling indicates that changes proposed, which give priority to buses turning in and out of The Broadway, will have a negligible impact on westbound Boulevard traffic. The changes will improve bus journey times. For people travelling by foot it will make journeys easier and safer. When travelling by bike, this is a key link to create dedicated space for cycling from east to west across the Town Centre.

Will the proposals improve bus journey times?

Yes, by adding a further dedicated bus lane and a give way line at the junction with the Broadway, it will give priority to buses turning in and out of the Broadway. This will reduce time spent waiting for a gap in the traffic, improving journey time reliability.

What provision has been made for walking and cycling?

The Western Boulevard scheme will feature improved pedestrian and cycling facilities, including a segregated parallel crossing and new segregated cycle tracks, dedicating space to both pedestrians and cyclists. The scheme will also see the introduction of 2 cycle streets in the service roads along the Boulevard.

Will there be continuous priority treatment of walkways across the side road entrances and exits at the old post office service road?

We are intending where possible, to provide continuous cycle and pedestrian priority across the side road entrances and exits of the northern service road of the Boulevard. It will be clear to motorised vehicles that pedestrian and cyclist have priority here.

How will the new scheme fit within the wider area?

The Western Boulevard has been designed to connect to the Eastern Gateway scheme which is already under construction. The designs presented are the first phase of wider plans for the area that can come forward as and when further funding becomes available. This approach will minimise the likelihood of carrying out work now, only for it to be removed later. Later phases will continue segregated connection to the existing High Street infrastructure and improvements to the junction of High Street and the Boulevard.

Why is the eastbound cycle track not on the main carriageway?

In order to achieve the wider junction it was necessary to place the cycle lane to the north of the carriageway. The cycle tracks will be clearly marked.

Will the proposed improvements require additional land?

Most of the proposed improvements are contained within the existing highway. In order to deliver the full improvements to the crossing, there is the need to secure a small piece of land but the scheme can be progressed without it and improved at a later date once it has been secured. We recognise that there are a number of interactions with neighbouring properties and developments which will require close cooperation.

Will the road remain open during the works?

It is hoped that two-way traffic can be maintained for the majority of the works. However, until detailed designs are approved, the Traffic Management Plans cannot be confirmed. However every effort will be made to minimise the impact on the road network on all road users.

Will there be any environmental impact?

Surveys are being conducted to assess the impacts of the scheme on the local habitat. In general the scheme is not expected to have a significant negative impact on species or habitats along the route. Should the surveys identify species requiring protection an appropriate mitigation plan will be developed to reduce the impact of the proposed improvements.

Will access for pedestrians be maintained during the works?

Yes. Wherever possible, footpaths will be left open. If a footpath is going to be closed, we will provide advance notice.

Will the works affect my bus journey?

We will be liaising with all bus operators to ensure that the impact the works will have on their timetables can be managed.

Will emergency services be affected by this works?

We will be working closely with emergency services to ensure that the works have minimal impact on their operations.

Will any trees be removed?

One tree will be removed for the Proposed Development. The tree is categorised as a low-quality tree due to poor structural conditions and limited remaining contribution (see below). The loss will be mitigated through the implementation of a landscape design including the planting of a replacement tree.