How does it look now?
The southern end of the promenade (from the Sea Terminal to Broadway) is quite different; the northern section (from Broadway to Summerhill Road) remains very similar.
In the southern end, the horse tram lines have been removed from the centre of the road and replaced with a single tram line located along the seaward side of the road. The roadway has narrower traffic lanes in each direction, with greater emphasis on pedestrian areas and crossing points. This work will be completed as soon as possible. This work has been descoped from the main project.
In the northern section, the twin tram lines remains in the centre of the road, with other facilities such as pedestrian crossing points and parking remaining very similar to the previous arrangement.
The junctions at Church Road (Greensills Corner) and Broadway have been completely redesigned to assist with both traffic flow and pedestrian movements. The newly created Cultural Area in front of the Sefton Hotel and Gaiety Theatre has become a meeting place with architectural planting, seating, mood lighting and ergonomic street sculpture.
Why did Douglas Promenade need to be refurbished?
The existing highway surface and construction layers below the surface had deteriorated over their lifetime and needed to be replaced with new construction materials. The failure in the existing construction made the highway both uncomfortable for motorists to drive along and in constant need for costly temporary repairs.
The reconstructed highway provides:
- a road that will not require further reconstruction for a minimum of 40 years
- a smooth running surface to make journeys far more comfortable and enjoyable for road users
- Improves the appearance of the Promenade for residents, businesses and visitors
- aspects of the lower Douglas regeneration programme.
Will the road need to be dug up again?
To hopefully prevent this from happening along the Promenade, the Department worked closely with all the following organisations: Manx Utility, Manx Gas, Manx Telecom and Douglas Borough Council to ensure that any old or unsatisfactory equipment is replaced as each section of the Promenade is reconstructed. It is not possible to say nothing will be dug up at some stage in the future because emergencies can happen but we will work closely with them all to ensure we have done everything in our power to minimise these risks.
Where will the Horse Tram lines be located?
Along the northern section of the Promenade, the existing dual tram lines are in the centre of the road. A new single tram line that will run on the seaward side of the road, finishing alongside the Bottleneck car park near to the Sea Terminal building. The transition between the dual track and the single track will happen just north of the Broadway junction. This aspect of the tram corridor has been descoped from this project.
Does the Promenade highway look better?
Yes. The Department took opportunity to use more natural stone paving material (similar to that used on Phase 1 of the work, near the Jubilee clock) to enhance the appearance of the footways and re-establish the Promenade as the gateway to the Island’s capital.
Is there less car parking spaces?
The Department has endeavoured to maintain as many car parking spaces as possible. Overall, there will be a reduction in 130 parking numbers along the full length of the Promenade. Where parking spaces are lost, these have been replaced with other features such as bus laybys, taxi ranks, loading bays etc. to the benefit of public transport and local requirements.
Are cyclists accommodated ?
Yes. Cyclists are still permitted to use the Promenade Walkway alongside pedestrians. This has proved to be a popular facility in recent years and it is the Department’s intention for this to continue. A series of cycle stands have been installed along the entire length of the Promenade, providing a suitable location for riders to secure their cycles should they wish to do so.
Are the sea defences being improved?
The Department intends to construct a new 500m long sea defence wall, running from the end of the Marina Gardens north, beyond the junction with Broadway and finishing opposite the Empress Hotel on Central Promenade. These works will cost circa £500,000.
After the works are complete, will my journey time along the Promenade increase or decrease?
The new road layout and modern design techniques introduced along the southern section are expected to reduce average vehicle speeds.
This will be achieved by:-
- Reducing the number of traffic signals and subsequently reducing the ‘stop-start’ effect these have on journeys
- Introducing an environment that encourages vehicle drivers to adopt slower speeds throughout the length of the Promenade.
How much will the scheme cost, including the new tram line?
The entire cost of the project, including the phase 1 work, is expected to fall within the approved budget of £25 million.Updated on 10 November 2021