Turning back clock to historic glory

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What would you change about Dunstable’s high street? Residents and businesses in Dunstable are being asked to share their ideas for how to improve the high street to enhance the town’s character and encourage people to spend time there.

In consultation with Highways England, Central Bedfordshire Council is planning to carry out improvements to the street scene to make the area look and feel more like a high street in an historic market town, but before plans are drawn up they want to hear ideas from the community.

Dunstable’s high street and crossroads have played a key role in the town’s proud history, but over the years increased levels of traffic has led to heavy congestion and has caused the town centre to lose some of its sparkle.

When the Woodside Link and Highways England’s A5-M1 Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass) roads open in 2017, traffic will be diverted away from the centre of Dunstable and the high street will no longer be the main through-route for motorway traffic.

This will allow the Council to put in place a lorry ban throughout the town centre and carry out much-needed improvements to the street scene.

To share your ideas and find out more about the project, you can come along to one of two public events being held in Dunstable, one at Dunstable Conference Centre on Saturday, October 8, between 10am and 3pm, and another at Central Bedfordshire College on Wednesday, October 12, between 10am and 2pm.

You can also complete an online or printed survey at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/yourhighstreet by Monday, October 31, 2016.

Improvements to the street scene could include making changes to the road, pavements, crossings, parking and loading bays, barriers, lamp posts, signs, traffic lights, bus stop locations and access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Our goal is for Dunstable’s town centre to thrive and be an inviting place for people to spend their time visiting shops and tourist attractions, now and in the future.”

This project is one of several initiatives in Dunstable, including improvements to shop fronts and vacant shop units, as well as a number of other projects. For more information visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/dunstable.