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Bedford High Street improvement works

Work is starting on 1 February 2021 to improve the street scene of the High Street and Silver Street square.

Bedford’s High Street has been one lane for a number of months now, with temporary barriers put in place to help people social distance during the coronavirus pandemic. However, this new, permanent scheme will see a different road layout with wider pavements on both sides of the road.  Works are expected to be complete by the end of November 2021.

Parts of the High Street will be closed to through traffic whilst the works are being carried out. Work will be undertaken in stages so that the whole road will not be closed at once; the length of the road from St Peters to Mill Street to be closed from February until July, with this length then re-opening and the southern half of the street down to the Embankment will then close. Signed diversions will be in place. Details of road closures and diversion routes can be seen on our interactive map

As part of these works, permanent loading and short term parking bays will be installed to help shops along the High Street function and attract shoppers, wider pavements will be created using high quality York paving and granite kerbstones, and the 20mph speed limit will be enforced by average speed cameras.

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

The Trevor Huddleston statue in Silver Street Square is being temporarily removed ahead of the works. The statue is being carefully removed by a specialist contractor, and will be stored safely until it returns to take pride of place in the square once the refurbishment works are complete.

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. The Borough Council 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).