Ben Hamilton-Baillie, an international expert on shared space schemes and a consultant on the Fishergate scheme, said: “Like all towns and cities, Preston needed renewal and regeneration to take advantage of new business opportunities and the growth of the university.

To attract people and money, the public realm has to be attractive. The new street designs provide a fresh and distinctive palette for the City, to create low-speed, attractive streets and spaces that can accommodate traffic whilst attracting more pedestrian and cycle activity.”

The brief

The aims of the Fishergate project were to improve two of the key approaches to Preston city centre. The main areas involved were the stretch from Preston railway station up Fishergate as far as Lune Street, Corporation Street from the junction with Ringway up to Fishergate, and along Ringway to the Friargate crossing.

Materials used

Hardscape supplied a mix of paving including Magma, Royal White, Yellow Rock, Kobra and Rustenberg granite setts and Crystal Black granite kerbs plus tactile accessories. Light and dark mix granites were used for crossing points and parking areas. Granite was chosen for its strength due to highly-trafficked shared space areas.

Client: Lancashire County Council. Landscape Architect: Planit-IE. Contractor: Casey Group.

The end result

The project, funded by £1.38m from the European Regional Development Fund and £2m from Lancashire County Council, aimed to improve key gateways into the city.

County Councillor John Fillis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, commented: “This project represented the most significant investment in Preston’s city centre in a generation and it has completely transformed Fishergate. The result is a much more attractive environment drawing new business to the city.”

The project began in June 2013 and is still ongoing. Hardscape have supplied every phase for over 4 years and are proud contributors to its overall success in the heart of Preston. It is a great example of integrating pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow.