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Results of the Old Town Future consultation

Some changes were made to the Old Town High Street last year when we came out of lockdown. Some of these changes were a positive adaption and many residents requested for them to stay.

Off the back of the comments received we asked for your views on how you would like us to shape the High Street in the future.

You can scroll through the results below.

Desired type of activities and events

Desired activities and events

What types of activities and events would you like in the Old Town?

The most popular responses when participants were asked what type of activities and events they would like to see in the Old Town were music events/festival and other street markets and fairs. In addition, many respondents mentioned that they loved Old Town Live and they would like it to become an annual event.

Gender of respondents

Gender of respondents-2

The gender ratio of respondents was balanced with 56% female and 43% male representing the population of Stevenage.

Age of respondents

Age of Respondents

All age groups were represented in the consultation. Younger respondents (18-24) make up 19% of the sample, while older respondents (>54) represent 18% of the participants, indicating that chatbot consultations are an effective way to target all demographics, not just the tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z.

Awareness of the changes on the High Street

Awareness of changes

Over the last 18 months we have made a number of temporary changes to the High Street to protect people and support a safe reopening after the pandemic.

The majority of respondents (67%) have noticed the temporary changes made by the Council to the High Street to support a safe reopening after the pandemic.

Perception towards outside seating

Outside Seating perception-2

Do you like the outside seating at the southern part of the High Street?

Most participants (76%) enjoy the outside seating at the southern part of the High Street, with only 7% stating that they don’t like it. In fact, keeping/expanding the outside seating area is 7th on the list of the desired improvements to the High Street.

Perception towards green bike racks

Green Bike Racks perception

Should we keep the new bike racks, replace them with more standard looking one or move them somewhere else?

Almost half of the respondents stated that the new green bike racks should remain as they are, especially 18-44 year olds (30%). A quarter of the participants would like the bike racks to be replaced with standard looking ones, while15% would like them to be moved somewhere else.

Perception towards the benches

Pie chart showing percentage of participants

What about benches? Do we need more of them on the High Street?

Two thirds of the participants across all age groups expressed the need for more benches on the High Street.

Desired location of extra benches

Desired location of benches

Where would you like these extra benches to be?

Participants want these extra benches to be placed along both sides of the high street (23%), or outside shops, restaurants and cafés where most people gather.

Need for more trees

Need for more trees-2

Would you like to see more trees on the High Street?

Most respondents (64%) across all demographics would also like to see more trees on the High Street.

Location of extra trees

desired location of extra trees-2

Where should we put these extra trees?

According to the respondents, these extra trees should be planted along the High Street (31%), or anywhere suitable (depending on the available space, proper soil, etc.) (21%).

Favourite things about Stevenage High Street

Favourite things about the High Street-2

What do you value most about Stevenage High Street?

The majority (26%) values the local shops on the High Street, particularly the variety of independent small shops, as well as the street’s character and history (11%).

Main use of Stevenage High Street

Mainly use high street for-2

What do you mainly use Stevenage High Street for?

Half of the respondents visit the High Street mainly for shopping and access to services. The second most popular reason for visiting the High Street is eating out and drinking (19%).

Desired improvements to Stevenage High Street

Desired improvements to the high street

How could we make Stevenage High Street better for you?

In terms of further improvements to the High Street, 15% of participants stated that no changes are needed, 11% said that they would like more greenery and benches and another 11% said that they would like more parking bays and free parking hours.

Desired type of activities and events

Desired activities and events

What types of activities and events would you like in the Old Town?

The most popular responses when participants were asked what type of activities and events they would like to see in the Old Town were music events/festival and other street markets and fairs. In addition, many respondents mentioned that they loved Old Town Live and they would like it to become an annual event.

Gender of respondents

Gender of respondents-2

The gender ratio of respondents was balanced with 56% female and 43% male representing the population of Stevenage.