Pedestrianisation of Central Drive

Central Drive enhanced re-instatement

Central Drive, which runs from Union Square to the Lennard-Jones Building, has been pedestrianised as part of a development to provide a wide and safe pedestrian concourse into the centre of the campus. The pedestrianisation also creates opportunities for the Drive to be used for major University events, to complement Union Square.

To enhance the feel of this pedestrianised zone, the Drive has been resurfaced with a high quality dual-coloured resin-bound gravel. Redundant paths have also been replaced with soft landscaping. Central Drive is therefore closed to vehicles from Friday 28 September 2018.

Scheme details

Central Drive is a key space within Keele University, and provides a main arterial route from residential areas to the Centre of Campus at Union Square, and act to link a number of major teaching and administration buildings, including the newly extended Huxley Building.

During the recent successful development of the Horwood Energy Centre which included the installation of new Mechanical infra-structure along Central Drive, gave time to consider exciting opportunities for the Drive to be developed to support enhancing the student experience as well that of other users and visitors to the University.

The fundamental change is that this arterial route is now totally pedestrianized with no access (except for emergency) for any vehicles.

To enhance the feel of this pedestrianized zone it has been finished in a patterned high quality coloured resin bound gravel. Redundant paths along the Drive have been removed and replaced with additional soft landscaping.

In future it is envisaged there will be a variety of arrangements of seating along this zone along with pop-up covered areas, and enhanced landscaping.

The design for this zone has been driven by the requirement to make it an area that encourages socializing and collaboration and creates opportunities to be used for major University events to complement Union Square.

The development of Central Drive was subject to wide stakeholder engagement including the VC’s Office and representatives of building users along Central Drive. There was also engagement with the Student Union, KPA, Department of Occupation Health and Safety and the Leadership Team of Estates and Development. The feedback was very supportive to take this underused central space and make it into something that better serves the University Community.

The photographs below show how Central Drive looked previously, compared to how it looks now.

Former View 700

Central Drive Complete 700

Central Drive Enhancement CGI