Stonehills road section soon to reopen as part of "exciting" WGC improvement work

Major work to improve Welwyn Garden City town centre is well underway, with the road section of Stonehills - including wider footways and on-street parking - reopening towards the end of September. The paving improvements in Sir Theodores Way and Stonebank will be completed by late October.

Artist's impression of Stonehills Road leading to new pedestrian square

The overall work - to reimagine Stonehills - began in July and is being led by Hertfordshire County Council, in partnership with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Welwyn Garden City BID. The project will improve the town centre for everyone by reducing traffic, making the roads safer and the environment better for those travelling on foot and by bike.

The scheme will create a new public space at Stonehills' northern end, with added seating, planting and new trees to provide an ideal meeting spot and location for outdoor shopping, dining and events.

Excavation and other work in Stonehills Square is taking slightly longer than originally planned and now scheduled for completion in January 2022. Work on the footways outside the shops at the northern end of Stonehills is set to happen in the evenings from late October to minimise disruption to businesses and shoppers.

Anniversary Gardens - the location of the site compound - is also set for improvements, with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council carrying out redevelopment work in the new year - we are committed to providing a better, green space which connects Anniversary Gardens to the new square. This should be completed in the spring.

Phil Bibby, Executive Member for Highways and Transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said:

We are keen to finish all of this work as soon as possible, while making sure that the improvements deliver the high quality areas in the town centre that our residents, businesses and visitors to Welwyn Garden City can enjoy and make full use of for years to come. We apologise for any delays in completing this work, which is all about making exciting changes so that the town centre is ready to respond to future shopping, leisure and working habits, and also takes into account the impact of COVID-19.

We want to provide a much-improved environment for pedestrians and cyclists, as encouraging healthier travel, reducing pollution and creating community spaces that are both economically and socially valuable are all among our priorities.

Stephen Boulton, Executive Member for Environment, Planning, Estates and Development at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said:

As we emerge from lockdown, it's great to be able to welcome everyone back to what will soon be a much-improved town centre area. There will be a lovely communal space to encourage shoppers, visitors, and cyclists in, from which local businesses can benefit.

Together with our plans for enhancements to Anniversary Gardens, which will reflect the character and beauty of the garden city, we hope to provide something of a post-pandemic tonic for people, while ensuring its sustainability for our future generations.

For full details of the ongoing work in Welwyn Garden City town centre, please go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/wgctowncentre, email welwyngardencitytowncentre@hertfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 4047.