Improvement works for Dunstable High Street are to commence next week after the project was given approval by Central Bedfordshire Council’s traffic management committee.
Previously the council ran two consultations to ask for ideas on how to improve Dunstable High Street.
In response, the public said they wanted to prioritise pedestrians, and as a result, CBC is implementing a boulevard-style high street with cafes on wider pavements, more greenery, and with more public areas and benches.
The improvements are expected to take around 12 weeks.
Cllr Nigel Young, executive member for regeneration, said: “We want to build upon Dunstable’s existing heritage to create a new and improved High Street. We want to make it people-orientated, with the feel of a market town that caters to the needs of both locals and visitors.
“We want to move away from the High Street being effectively a dual carriageway road. We’ll be widening the pavements to help slow traffic down and give the area back to shoppers. And we’re removing the guard rails and changing the road crossings so that they are at the points where people do want them.
“All the changes will make a noticeable improvement to the town, and we will continue to bid for more funding, so that we can undertake further improvements next year, including to the layout of the main crossroads.”
CBC will start works by removing the railings and some other unnecessary street clutter from the High Street, to allow pedestrians to access different areas around town. The work includes four ‘gateway’ features at key locations to help to define the town centre, and to indicate to drivers that they are entering a pedestrian-friendly area.
The council also intends to make improvements to the Middle Row shopping area. This includes new cycle stands, and feature lighting to improve safety and make the area more attractive in the evening. New trees and planting areas will have built-in drainage features to help prevent occasional flooding. Local market traders will have better access to electricity points.
The public can read about the plans at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/yourhighstreet.