PROPOSALS to reshape Ryde Esplanade, as part of a £10 million project, have been branded as a stepping stone of regeneration for the area.

In a joint bid between Hampshire, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight Council, the money has been provided by the government through the Transforming Cities Fund to improve connectivity throughout the region.

Focusing on the gateway into Ryde, Wightlink, South Western Railway and the Isle of Wight Council are all introducing plans to rejuvenate the area by changing the road entrance to the pier, the Ryde bus station layout and a dedicated pedestrian and cycleway up the pier.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ryde Pier.Ryde Pier.

With the government funding came a number of conditions to achieve value for money when investing in the Island, the council's strategic manager for regeneration infrastructure and transport capital programme Dave Newton said.

Fundamentals that anchor the current proposals, Mr Newton said, include the scheme that will see most buses leaving Ryde via George Street to counteract the safety concerns of buses reversing.

He said: "The funding is from the Department for Transport (DfT) so this element is very much transport focused and we want to get as much value out of that as we can for the public realm."

Isle of Wight County Press: Picture: Isle of Wight Council.Picture: Isle of Wight Council.

Getting the proposals right was a fine balance and Mr Newton said unless there was something found which would make the scheme entirely unworkable it would go ahead, although tweaks, identified through the currently running consultation, could be made.

He said: "This stage is the feasibility design and what we have found makes the project work and [the feedback] will help us design the next level of detail that is very much focused on the public realm, we will hear all commentary and move forward.

"There is always going to be compromise and wide, wide views so we cannot make everybody happy but the fundamentals of this is to create a great opportunity funded by the DfT to improve sustainable travel, enhance the public realm and get much better pedestrian prioritisation in the area than there currently is, which is what we set out to do.

"If we get feedback in an improved manner we will listen to that."

The council's consultation is running until August 3: more details can be found here: