COUNCILLORS are set to approve controversial £10 million plans for Ryde Interchange at a cabinet meeting tonight (Thursday).

More than 20 recent modifications to the plans are being proposed for the multi-million-pound scheme which went out to public consultation over the summer.

The project aims to increase connectivity for travellers at the gateway to Ryde, while making the area around the interchange, pier and Esplanade "a better and safer place for people to visit and enjoy as a destination in itself", the council said.

A six-week consultation sought views from the community on key elements which will define the look and feel of the area, including landscaping and planting, bus carriageway surfacing, kerbing, pedestrian paving and seating.

More than 300 people completed an online survey with 1,700 submitting paper responses.

The results of the consultation were contained in a report published last Wednesday.

The paper includes a list of proposed modifications to the plans — based on public feedback — which councillors are being asked to approve.

These include:

  • temporary public toilet provisions at Western Gardens until the new fully accessible facilities are opened as part of the railway station refurbishment
  • more on-street parking to support local seafront businesses
  • extended cycleways and comprehensive cycle/scooter parking
  • contemporary stone planters with the existing stone walls fronting the Rose Garden
  • an overall 'seaside' planting scheme
  • accessibility improvements, traffic calming features and less clutter
  • limestone style paving for pedestrian areas in keeping with other parts of Ryde and conservation type kerbs and traditional style black street furniture
  • the retention of the 'tulip tree' and an expanded public space for busking or alfresco dining
  • bus shelters incorporating real time bus information and heritage style benches and bins

The plans will see the bus terminal re-modelled with more public amenity space, increased planting and less hard surfacing for vehicles.

A new road layout will allow buses which already route via George Street to emerge from the bus terminal and head straight up George Street, as opposed to the current arrangement where they have to use the roundabout at the end of the Esplanade.

There will be enhanced signal controlled crossing points which give pedestrians priority and the area will be opened up to improve views of the historic pier.

Other key elements of the wider project are being delivered by Wightlink — by transforming the disused tramway into a pedestrian and cycling boardwalk up the pier — and South Western Railway, which will refurbish the terminal building to create through access to the reinstated pier, new fully accessible toilets and expanded concessions.

If approved, the major works would start in early 2022 and take around 12 months to complete.

Read more: The 20 modifications to Ryde Interchange proposals