A Garden City with a Welcome

The Gateways Project

We aim to encourage visitors, businesses and residents to feel proud that they have arrived at a special destination by better signage reflecting the garden city principles and welcoming them to our town.

Particular focus will be given to the strategic entry roads, railway station and the new bus station.

Meet the Team delivering a Garden City with a Welcome

Dr Dennis Lewis, Alan Willison, Malcolm Day, Cllr. Nigel Quinton, Cllr. Malcom Cowan

The project has been split into three sections

1. The Railway Station. Welwyn Garden City station is a very busy station, with a usage of well over 2.5 million people per annum (1 million more than Potters Bar and 0.5 million more than Hatfield). The station is in poor condition and requires a major upgrade.  The responsibility for the upkeep of the station falls on Govia Thameslink (the operator) and Network Rail.  The working group is in contact with both, and with the Railway Heritage Trust, discussing recommendations for the restoration and upgrade.  Action is now well advanced and should be complete well in time for 2020.

 Monies have been earmarked by the utilities, plans gone out to tender and work has now started. The plan is for a renovation and an upgrade to a more consistent design with a return to the old LNER cream & green livery. The gardens are to be restored and redesigned.  A Station Partnership has been formed with local volunteers to ensure the gardens are properly maintained.  The Station Partnership is headed up by Lynda Cowan (tel. 01707 324723 ).  If you are interested please join the Partnership.   We anticipate that the upgrade will be well advanced by this autumn (2018).

WGC Station 2018

2.  Signs for the road entrances to the town.  Road entrances to the town are currently poorly marked with old and dirty signs, many situated in the wrong position or completely missing.  A review has been carried out by the working group and eight suitable sites identified.  Discussions are ongoing with the County Council and outline designs for the new signshave been prepared.  The design will be based on the edging devised by Louis de Soissons for his original 1920 Master Plan.  It is hoped that these signs will be completed this year. Parallel schemes are being explored for suitable low maintenance planting (“embellishments”) near and around the various signs in the form of trees and/or shrubs.

Valley Road Sign 2018

3.  Bus Station.  The opportunity has been taken by the working group to suggest an input into the new bus station which has been built next to the Howard Centre. Discussions took place with the County Council team in charge of the project.  The plate glass walls of the bus shelter have been marked with opaque vinyls to prevent people walking into them.  A design for these vinyls has been worked up with the County’s graphic designer, based again on the Louis de Soissons 1920 Master Plan.  A full-size copy of the plan has been mounted on the solid walls of the shelter, together with an interpretation board.  The bus shelter has been completed and is now in operation.  The first of the “gateways” to complete.  Discussions are also taking place with a local artists for a suitable piece of artwork to be displayed on the solid wall, and also perhaps to be mounted within the railway station.

Bus Station Vinyl