30 April 2010

Work is to start on a project which will improve pedestrian access and introduce more environmentally friendly methods of transport to Wellingborough town centre.

The £2 million initiative, being carried out by Northamptonshire County Council and its highways service provider MGWSP, is part of the Wellingborough Area Action Plan and is focused along Sheep Street and Silver Street.

The council is working in partnership with the Borough Council of Wellingborough to deliver the scheme which has been financed with Growth Area Funding through North Northants Development Company.

A consultation exercise was held last summer with exhibitions set up to showcase the plans and invite feedback from people affected by the proposals.

The works which start on May 4 will see more space for pedestrians with improved road crossings along with a rejuvenation of public spaces. There will also be the introduction of a dedicated bus lane.

Sheep Street/ Silver Street is just the start of a series of improvement phases and, undertaken by service provider MGWSP, is scheduled for completion in October. This is all part of a much wider approach to enhance the town centre, which will see improvements taking place in Market Street/Gloucester Place, Croyland Gardens and the High Street.

The council’s aspiration is to make the town centre more accessible, convenient and safer for pedestrians while maintaining access to the town for vehicles. This will be integrated with measures to prioritise bus travel on Sheep Street and Silver Street to improve journey times and reliability through to Church Street.

High quality paving on footways and around pedestrian crossings will create a more accessible, integrated and pedestrian friendly environment.

Sheep Street and Silver Street will be closed to through traffic for a period of time during the works but disruption will be kept to a minimum while work is taking place and pedestrians will still have unhindered access to shops, offices, cafes and pubs.

The usual flow of through vehicles will be diverted from London Road to follow a route along Doddington Road, Croyland Road and Oxford Street. This diversion will be in place until October. Access for deliveries to businesses will still be permitted.

Signage will be highly visible around the town to make the diversion clear and to ensure the public know Wellingborough is ‘open for business as usual’. Staff will also be on site at the former site of The Swan pub near the junction of Oxford Street.

One bus stop by The Hind Hotel will be relocated to Commercial Way but reinstated after the contractors leave the site.