The last in a series of articles providing an overview of how Stevenage's regeneration is going, what you can expect from the town centre when it’s completed, and hearing from some of the people at the heart of the project.

In the articles so far, we've answered some of your biggest questions about the regeneration, explored the projects that have already been completed and are still to come, spoken to representatives of political parties and the Stevenage Development Board, and heard from some town centre businesses.

Over the course of the series, we've been asking you to submit your views on the regeneration - and now, we're revealing the results of the 697 submissions we received.

Firstly, we asked you what you thought the town centre was missing. The chart below shows the results:

The most popular answers were 'free parking', 'independent stores' and 'chain stores', while the least popular answer was 'cafés'.

In our interview with Baroness Taylor of Stevenage, then leader of Stevenage Borough Council, she said that one of the regeneration's objections was to “have much more diverse uses in the town centre – more people working there, more people enjoying leisure activities there, and more restaurants, cafes, bars.”

Our next question was about whether you prefer to shop online or in-person. This chart show the number of people giving each answer:

The results show that few of you do all your shopping online, and more than 45 per cent of you answered 'both equally'. However, the answers do also reflect the trend away from in-person shopping in recent years, with fewer than ten per cent of respondents answering 'always in-person'.

Our next question was about how you get to the town centre. Transport has been at the heart of the regeneration project, with the new bus interchange and Stevenage Borough Council “trying to encourage people not to use cars and to use public transport, cycle or walk”, according to Baroness Taylor.

We asked how you normally get to the town centre:

While a majority of you said that you normally get to the town centre via car, van or motorbike, more than a third said that you normally use sustainable transport methods instead. Public transport and walking were the second and third most common answers respectively.

We then asked you what your favourite and least favourite parts of the regeneration were.

'None of it' was, by some distance, the most popular answer to our question about your 'favourite' part of the regeneration, with 288 people saying this.

The Comet: More than 100 people said that the bus interchange was their favourite part of the regeneration.More than 100 people said that the bus interchange was their favourite part of the regeneration. (Image: Stevenage Borough Council)

After that, the most popular answer was the bus interchange, with more than 100 people saying it was their favourite thing about the regeneration. However, 68 people also named it as their least favourite, largely due to its location.

Nearly 40 people said that their favourite thing about the regeneration was that it was getting rid of eyesores, and making the town centre more modern and aesthetically pleasing. Despite this, there were a few comments about the town centre becoming a "concrete jungle".

Other popular answers to your 'favourite' part of the regeneration were the revamped town square, including the new paving, the children's play area, and the aesthetics of the Park Place development.

The Comet: An artist's impression of the new multi-storey car park at the railway station.An artist's impression of the new multi-storey car park at the railway station. (Image: Stevenage Borough Council)

Event Island proved divisive, with 30 naming it as their favourite thing and 29 as their least favourite. The building of a new science block opposite the swimming pool and the multi-storey car park being built at the railway station also had roughly the same number of people naming them their 'favourite' and 'least favourite' parts of the regeneration.

Criticism of the regeneration focused on the changes to Lytton Way (prior to the current layout with cones), and the number of flats being built - 147 named the former as their 'least favourite', with 121 mentioning the latter.

Twenty people criticised the new flats for being unaffordable, although 13 said they were pleased that more homes were being built. And several people were pleased by the new Lytton Way road crossing, saying that it made it easier to move between the bus interchange and railway station.

The Comet: Many people criticised the new road layout on Lytton Way (picture from October 2021).Many people criticised the new road layout on Lytton Way (picture from October 2021). (Image: Google Maps)

Criticism also focused on the parking situation, with 28 people complaining about a lack of parking and 29 saying that parking needed to be more affordable.

There was also a widespread perception that more shops were needed, with more than 100 people criticising the town centre's retail offering - losing Matalan, B&M, Home Bargains and TK Maxx was mentioned by many.

While people were keen to see an improved 'post 5pm' experience in the town centre, with restaurants and bars, a dozen people said that this was not yet being offered and wanted it to be improved.

Below are a selection of your responses to the survey.

Favourite part of the regeneration

"The bus station regeneration has made getting the bus feel safer, more convenient, and comfortable."

"None of it. Especially not the awful science building & the changes to Lytton Way. A bigger concourse could have been built over Lytton Way, with retail, dining etc that linked the town centre to the train station & bus station"

"I don't think I could say any of it has been great yet. I would like to see cohesive changes making the area prettier and attracting nice independent bars & restaurants into the town. Currently the town centre is worse than it's ever been. The changes so far have not helped."

"The planned library and technology centre. So many places are losing library facilities I'm glad that having a new one is a priority in our future. The tech centre will provide our young people (and hopefully some of us more mature learners) with much needed opportunities to gain real world skills that are far more in demand in the industries of today."

Least favourite part of the regeneration

"The rank stupidity spending all that money on a multi-storey carpark in an area that is prime location for apartments. Climate emergency, what climate emergency? Moving the bus station even further out of town so that it's more convenient for people drive to town. Again ... climate emergency, what climate emergency?"

"Pedestrian lights crossing in Lytton Way. The footbridge should be extended to bus station."

"With the bus station now further away from the Town Centre, I can no longer go to the Town Centre Shops and the Indoor Market as I just cannot walk that far."