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Bedford High Street improvement works

Work started on 1 February 2021 to improve the street scene of the High Street and Silver Street Square.

  •     High Street: work on the northern section of the High Street has been completed and the footway is open for pedestrians.
  •     Silver Street Square: work is complete and the area is now open to pedestrians.

During autumn 2021 work will continue to install new paving, kerbs and tree pits on the southern half of the street. In mid to late September we will be working on the length of High Street opposite St Pauls Square. Due to restricted footpath widths, the anticipated daytime footpath footfall with the continued recovery from the pandemic, and the operating times of the restaurants, we will be carrying out this phase of the improvement works overnight with works taking place between 8pm and 5am. 

This will ensure an efficient workflow, minimise disruption to businesses as they continue to recover from the pandemic, maintain the high quality of work we have already seen on the project and provide a safe environment for both the workforce and members of the public. We do recognise that the noise generated by the works will be inconvenient and cutting of slabs will be limited to being undertaken prior to midnight and will be undertaken behind an enclosed zone to reduce the noise.

It is expected that with these measures we can complete the night work by early November. At that time we then we will be resurfacing the carriageway and intend to complete all the works before Christmas.

The southern half of the High Street is closed to through traffic whilst the works are being carried out. Signed diversions are in place and details of road closures and diversion routes can be seen on our interactive map.

This construction work is being carried out by Henderson & Taylor Ltd on behalf of Bedford Borough Council.

Drawings and documents

  1. An artist’s impression of the finished works 
  2. Engineering drawings of the scheme: Image 1, Image 2
  3. Schematic drawing of the phasing of works 

Why are we doing this works?

The Bedford High Street improvement works are part of the Transporting Bedford 2020.

By taking non-stopping traffic out of town and encouraging motorists that just use the High Street as a through-route to go another way, the High Street will become a nicer place to spend time.

The enhancements will improve air quality, reduce traffic volumes and noise and we hope this will enable our High Street shops, restaurants and cafes to open up the street scene and create a great atmosphere where people want to spend more time, support their town centre, and come to visit from elsewhere.

We understand that circumstances have made things difficult for town centres businesses. We will do all that we can to support businesses to reopen and continue trading. Our aim is to complete the roadworks as quickly as we can and with as little disruption as possible.

The economic well-being of the High Street is of the utmost importance to us. The proposals we have put forward have been developed in conjunction with businesses in the town through the Bedford Business Improvement District (BID).