Hallgate and Silver Street set to be transformed in major Doncaster re-development

Silver Street, Doncaster town centre
Silver Street, Doncaster town centre
Have your say

Plans are being drawn up which could transform two of Doncaster's main night-time party streets.

Plans are being drawn up which could transform two of Doncaster's main night-time party streets.

Hall Gate, Doncaster town centre

Hall Gate, Doncaster town centre

Under £1.4 million proposals which have been outlineded to town centre businesses, Silver Street and Hall Gate would see major changes in a bid to increase their use during the daytime and the early evening.

It would mean the closure to traffic of Silver Street, and alterations to make Hall Gate a one-way street. Full consultation with residents and businesses is still to be carried out before any final decision is made.

The scheme is at the 'concept stage' and is to be discussed with businesses and the public before it is finalised, with any changes made that are seen to be necessary..

Council officer Neil Firth said the aim of the plans was to create jobs and bring in more business.

Bosses say they value the night time economy but want to create jobs by having more businesses in the area also open during the day

Funding for the scheme has already been agreed through the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund, which is putting money into the wider Doncaster town centre masterplan, which also includes the redevelopment of the area around Doncaster railway station and the market.

He said: "We are looking at reducing vehicle dominance, and giving up some space for public realm. Shops would be able to occupy that public realm space, for uses like al-fresco eating.

"We are looking at a potential pedestrianisation of Silver Street.

"We are wanting to support and encourage the night time economy on Silver Street. The evening economy is important to the town centre, and we want it to also function in the daytime, and then come alive at night."

He said officers were looking at possible animation on the streets, projecting images of seas, or snow, onto the ground. It is also felt that closing the road would make it safer.

It was initially thought that the closure of Silver Street may be an issue, but it was closed for three months for roadworks at the end of last year, with no major problems reported as a result of the closure.

The proposals to make Hall Gate one way would mean traffic only being able to travel out of town, up the hill.

It would potentially open it up for wider pavements, trees, and modern lighting, and more pavement cafes. Bosses believe it would also make it a more attractive gateway into the town centre.

The work would be carried out under the Quality Streets banner, which was previously used nearly 20 years ago when areas including High Street and Sunny Bar had work carried out including public art.

Some businesses raised concerns that the scheme would leave some areas of the town unchanged, but Mr Firth said the money that was available was specifically awarded for work on the Silver Street and Hall Gate areas, because it fitted in with certain criteria.

An initial business case for the broad proposal of improving the Silver Street and Hall Gate areas was approved by the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund in 2016, but no details of how it would progress have previously been known.

It was based on the refurbishment and enhancement of public realm and footways within core town areas including Hallgate, Silver Street and Cleveland Street - increasing the attractiveness of these areas; complementing three earlier phases of investment, increasing footfall and retail usage, and supporting the town's evening economy offer.

Doncaster Chamber chief executive Dan Fell said: "Doncaster businesses have for a long time expressed their keenness to see improvements in the town centre where members are very positive about some of the steps that have been taken to make Doncaster urban core more attractive.

"The new proposal for Silver Street and Hall Gate will I would imagine be warmly received by the private sector as they will add a new character and vibrancy to the town centre. We hope and envisage this will lee to an uplift in cafe culture and a more diverse evening economy."

Your Views

Proposals to make changes on Silver Street and Hall Gate were given a warm reception by residents in the town centre this week.

Residents who were approached by the Free Press all thought the plans to open the roads up by pedestrianisation, or becoming one way, to allow for facilities like pavement cafes were a good idea.

Ewalina Janulewicz, aged 28, of Edlington, said: "If it's not going to cause any problems with the traffic I think it's a good idea. I like the idea of pavement cafes, and I would use them.

Dorota Demska , aged 32, of Edlington, said: I think it's a great idea. They have them in Poland in the cities, where people go outside in the summer, and in the winter they put heaters out and blankets. I think it will be OK, and people will get used to it. I think it's needed."

Nicole Kristar, aged 40, of the town centre, said: "It's a good idea - people will be able to sit and relax. I think they will be well used and I don't think it will cause traffic problems."

Jackie Barker aged 55, of Cantley, said she thought it was a good idea. She said: "There's nothing up there for me at the moment, it's a bit of a waste of space in my opinion."

Elsie Lawson, aged 77, of Cantley, said: "I think people would use pavement cafes. I do when I go away, both in this country and abroad."

Lee Williamson , aged 38, of Balby, said: "I think it would make Doncaster much better. Silver Street seems like just night clubs at the moment. Cafes and the likes would be more use to me."

Martin Wright, aged 40, of Bentley, said: "I think it would generate more business for the shops in that area. I don't go to Silver Street at present, but I think this would open it up more. I think it would also make it safer for people who have been drinking at night if there were no cars there. I would be tempted to go there."

Alyesha Muldoon, aged 28, of Bentley said: "I think it would make Silver Street safer when people roll out of the nightclubs. I don't come to town much though so I don't think I'd use the cafes."