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Award win for Half Moon Square

Half Moon Square Crossing 2
Half Moon Square pedestrian crossing

A public realm scheme in Chelmsford’s city centre has been recognised for its inclusivity and ambience. The pedestrian crossing in Half Moon Square has won this year’s Urban Transport Design Award. The default-green signalised crossing gives priority to pedestrians and is one of only a few like this in the UK. The scheme was up against strong competition from other council projects from across the UK.

Officers from Chelmsford City Council receiving 2023 Urban Transport Design Award
Officers from Chelmsford City Council receiving 2023 Urban Transport Design Award

Recognition for public realm scheme

Half Moon Square is a public realm scheme in Chelmsford’s city centre. It occupies the space between High Chelmer and the high street entrance to Bond Street, and was transformed in 2016-17. Improvements were made to the pedestrian crossing on Tindal Street outside the High Chelmer shopping centre. The crossing is set to a default ‘green man’ ensuring that pedestrians have priority to safely cross.

The Urban Transport Design Award contenders

The judges for the Urban Transport Design Award were impressed by the inclusive design and the ambience the scheme has created at the space. Half Moon Square was up against competition from large and costly schemes. The other contenders were the Strand Aldwych (a £22m public realm scheme by Westminster City Council); side street zebra crossings in Cardiff (a trial project funded by the Welsh government); and Sighthill M8 ‘active travel’ bridge (a £19m replacement bridge by Glasgow City Council). Chelmsford City Council is thrilled to take home the award.

Councillor Ian Fuller, Cabinet Member for A Growing Chelmsford, is very pleased Chelmsford has been recognised for its public realm work. He said:

“The transformation of Half Moon Square has helped create a more attractive, accessible, and enjoyable high street. Winning this award highlights our ambition for pedestrians in the city centre, whether Chelmsford residents or visitors, to feel prioritised and safe. Half Moon Square is now a space for people to be entertained by street artists or relax on the seating uniquely designed for the space.

“We have continued investing in public realm projects such as Tindal Square further up the high street, to help unlock Chelmsford’s potential for hosting creative activities in the city centre.”

Councillor Ian Fuller, Cabinet Member for A Growing Chelmsford
Half Moon Square Crossing
Half Moon Square in Chelmsford shown from the angle of the pedestrian crossing

Future ambitions for Chelmsford city centre

The City Council, alongside other partners, is investing in Chelmsford’s public realm to create safe, fun spaces for pedestrians to enjoy. Whether visiting the city for shopping, socialising, or entertainment, people can experience cultural and creative offerings taking place in the pedestrianised areas. More exciting news on cultural events taking place in the city centre this summer will be shared soon.

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Charlotte Maltby
Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes about the environment, parks, recycling, business, planning, public realm and democratic services.