High Street Improvement Works Image Bedford Borough Council

Since February 2021, Bedford Borough Council has been delivering regeneration works to Bedford High Street. This will make it one lane only for traffic and create more space for shoppers and pedestrians.

Phase one of these works ran from St Peters Street to Mill Street. The Council said that these are now complete and it plans to begin phase two on Monday 26 July 2021. Traffic calming measures will be put in place the night before.

The second phase of works will stretch from Mill Street down to St Paul’s Square and is planned to last until November 2021.

As part of these works, the Council will be making the pavement wider and repaving the section of the high street with York paving and granite kerbstones.

Speed cameras will be installed along the road to enforce the 20mph speed limit on Bedford High Street.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said:

“Phase one of the improvement works was a great success and after visiting the site last week, we’re really looking forward to the second phase beginning.

“By making the high street one lane, we’re improving access to our High Street businesses and providing opportunities for them to make greater use of the space outside their premises.

“This unprecedented investment in our High Street will make it a nicer place for residents and visitors to the town centre to shop, dine out and relax. It will also help to improve air quality and reduce noise pollution on the High Street.

“Through the Transporting Bedford programme, we plan to reduce congestion on some of the other pinch points across our road network, which will help to alleviate the pressures of making the High Street one lane only.

“Businesses on our High Street will still be accessible while the works are ongoing and a signed diversion will be in place.”

The works are part of the Council’s “Transporting Bedford” programme. This is an £18M project to tackle congestion hotspots in Bedford, and is funded by both Bedford Borough Council and £15.5M funding from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), through the Local Growth Fund.

It has also helped secure an additional £1.76 million worth of investment from Historic England, backed by SEMLEP and Bedford BID, which will help improve shop fronts and bring unused spaces back into use.

For further information, please visit www.bedford.gov.uk/HighStreetroadworks.