Theme 1: town centre public realm

Redevelopment of our town centre and High Street is a key priority to help boost our local economy.

We will carry out major refurbishment works in the heart of our town centre with traffic reduced to one lane on the High Street, creating more space for shoppers. Alongside improvements on St Paul’s Square, this will give a significant boost to our thriving town centre.

This element of work will build upon and complement smaller scale public realm works already completed and / or planned in areas, such as the Riverside Bedford development.

Ideas that are being looked at include the following:

  • High Street decluttering: Removal of all unnecessary guardrail, signals and lines to reduce vehicle prominence and create an environment where all transport modes feel welcome
  • High Street repaving and resurfacing: Introduction of a cohesive materials palette to provide a visual uplift to the town and encourage walking and wider exploration. This includes both carriageway and footway surfaces, to ensure an improvement to visual amenity, the setting of heritage assets, and the introduction of features that will provide greater pedestrian priority
  • High Street pavement widening to accommodate and encourage increased footfall and also café spill out in some locations: To help reduce vehicle speeds and provide greater control over servicing, the High Street carriageway will be narrowed to accommodate wider pavements and spill-out spaces for businesses
  • High Street and St Paul’s Square introduction of high quality street furniture (including seating) and soft landscape, including trees: Introduction of a consistent street furniture palette to reduce visual clutter. This would be complemented by a soft landscape scheme designed with full consideration of CCTV requirements
  • St Paul’s Square repaving and resurfacing: Carriageways will be treated with paviours to help reduce traffic speeds and reduce the visual prominence of vehicle routes
  • St Paul’s Square pavement widening: There are opportunities as part of wider traffic management initiatives to widen pavements on each side of the Square
  • Rearrangement of junction layout of Cauldwell Street/St Marys Street/St John’s Street: to enhance the flow of traffic from Cauldwell Street into St John’s Street and tie-in with reduced carriageway width over the Town Bridge.