Hamilton Square could reopen to traffic as part of plans to bring it back to life (From Wirral Globe)
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Hamilton Square could reopen to traffic as part of plans to bring it back to life
COUNCIL bosses are planning to bring Birkenhead’s historic Hamilton Square back to life under plans being considered to reopen it to traffic on all sides.
The authority hopes to revitalise the area by allowing traffic to access the square from all four sides and creating better links between Birkenhead town centre, Hamilton Square and Woodside.
Part of the square – which was built between 1825 and 1847 – was pedestrianised as part of £80m work carried out in the Hamilton Quarter area between 1995 and 2002.
It was reopened to traffic close to Hamilton Square Station just over 18 months ago to allow better access for buses and those using that side of town.
Now council bosses hope to extend that success and tie in with developers Neptune, who are currently looking at ways to boost the town centre’s economy.
David Ball, the council’s head of regeneration and planning, said: “We have been looking for some time at how we can support Hamilton Square going forward.
“It is a fantastic area in terms of its heritage and historical importance and we want to see if we can bring a bit of additional life and vitality to the area.”
Mr Ball stressed that the square would not be opened entirely and would remain pedestrianised in front of the town hall and war memorial.
He said: “Before the pedestrianisation of the square it was too busy an area and there was a lot of traffic going through it.
“Keeping the pedestrianised area in front of the town hall is something we want to do as it is a great public space that is used on a number of occasions for various events, but the square gets quiet very fast on an evening and people don’t go there unless they have a specific reason.
“Opening up the two sides of the square would give better access and greater through flow to the area and when there is movement in a place, people have a reason to go there.”
Proposals are expected to be drawn up by June and would be discussed with business and residents before the authority tries to secure funding.
Mr Ball added: “We are only exploring at this stage and we haven’t made any decision.
“We will have to see what people think about it.”
Councillor Pat Hackett, Wirral’s cabinet member for economy, said: “Hamilton Square is an area of historic importance and the council is in discussions with English Heritage to explore new ways of managing the area.
“We have a strong vision to link Birkenhead town centre, Hamilton Square and Woodside as key locations to create employment opportunities.
“When economic circumstances allow, these plans will make an important contribution to revitalising the centre of Birkenhead.”
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