A designer has come up with a new way to direct visitors around Preston city centre.
Peter Thompson, a part-time university lecturer, has designed a ‘Wayfinder’ system which would see everything from touch-screen booths and downloadable maps through to tear-off sheets guiding people around the city centre.
His designs are part of an exhibition, Plan C, aimed at giving a glimpse into the future look of the city centre.
The graphic designer said the system could follow the successful launch of a similar initiative in Bristol.
Mr Thompson said: “I visited Bristol city centre and used the wayfinder system there for the first hour.
“I sat down and realised I had seen a lot of main attractions of the city already.
“Rather than just walking aimlessly around, I was able to do things in a more structured way which really helped.
“The compact nature of Preston city centre makes it a perfect candidate for this kind of system.”
He has put forward suggestions of replacing signs directing visitors to shops on side streets off the main Fishergate high street with touch-screen booths and allowing people to download interactive maps onto smart phones.
It would allow events to be listed alongside key landmarks in the city centre.
Mr Thompson added leaders on the city’s council had looked at the system as part of a package of proposals put forward by Citybrand, a company set up within the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to develop ideas for Preston’s city centre.
The designer said: “They were very enthusiastic about the idea, but obviously there is a cost associated to fully developing the system and installing it.
“You could have a sponsor for each of the posts, if you have an audience of potentially thousands of people looking at this, it is a great place to advertise your brand or product.”
Ben Casey, the design expert behind the Plan C exhibition, said creating a system to direct visitors around the city centre was crucial to its future.
He has outlined a new vision for Preston, dubbed The Guild City, on a European-style model of creating squares and quarters of regeneration.
He said: “Every major city has a way of showing people where to go and what is happening in their city centre.
“In some places, like London, it is a way to help people get through the noise of the many different activities taking place, for Preston, I think it is as simple as sign-posting people to the right places.
“You cannot rely simply on having sign posts up, people communicate in different ways these days, so you have to be clever about it.”
The Plan C exhibition is on at the Victoria building at the University of Central Lancashire until the end of September.