Pedestrianisation of Leighton Buzzard High Street will begin this Saturday
The closure of Leighton Buzzard High Street to traffic will come into force this Saturday, Central Beds Council has confirmed this afternoon.
The arrangement from June 20 will also see Lake Street become one-way only as part of plans to ensure residents can shop safely and maintain social distancing as non-essential stores re-open.
The council says it is a temporary arrangement designed to support businesses and the safe return of the market to the High Street following the easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Closing the High Street to traffic will allow people to use all of the space available. While this is a temporary scheme, Central Bedfordshire Council has not set a specific end-date as this will depend on Government guidance.
Access will be maintained for people who own or rent premises on the High Street and deliveries will be managed locally. Businesses who will be impacted by the changes will be contacted by the council to ensure that delivery access is still maintained.
Disabled parking will be retained at the bottom of the High Street and the taxi rank will move to to the bus stand area at the bottom of the High Street.
All bus services that currently use the High Street will transfer to West Street and the stops they use will be upgraded. Buzzer buses will be able to drop off and collect passengers from Church Square, North Street and Lake Street.
Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Member for Community Services, said: “We are doing everything we can to support Leighton Buzzard Town Centre to re-open, but we also need to ensure customers can use shops, cafes and restaurants safely.”
"We all need to take responsibility to follow social distancing guidelines and we hope that by putting this closure in place, we will make it as easy and safe as possible for people to return and support their local high street and market.”
“We are currently looking at other measures in which we can support social distancing in the town centre, including the removal of excess street furniture and guard rails to open up the space even more."
“We will work with local businesses and the town council to keep the changes under review and make changes if necessary.”
More information can be found at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/lbhighstreet