Pedestrianised Leighton Buzzard High Street

We have pedestrianised the High Street in Leighton Buzzard making Lake Street one-way only for traffic.

This is a temporary arrangement designed to support the High Street businesses re-opening and the return of the market to the High Street following the easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Closing the High Street to traffic will enable people to use all of the space available safely to aid social distancing.

Work is to start on removing road markings before we introduce additional planters, benches and a parasol to support outdoor dining.

We’re looking at examples of how other towns have used colour and street art within recently pedestrianised roads as this will help normalise using the space that has been created.

Access will be maintained for people who own or rent premises on the High Street and deliveries will be managed locally, and we will speak to businesses who are impacted and manage this with them and ensure that delivery access is still maintained and allowed.

The disabled parking will be retained at the bottom of the High Street and we have provided additional bays. We have also re-opened the multi-storey car park although the lift will remain closed until government guidance changes.

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.

Further improvements are planned for both Bridge Street and Hockliffe Street to aid social distancing alongside temporary shelters and more seating in West Street for bus users. There will also be a barrier installed to control access to the High Street.

We are also keen to see more businesses make use of outdoor space for trading there, so we’ve set up a quick, simple system to gain permission. The first step is to set up a mock-up, take a picture and email it to traffic.consultation@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Although this is a temporary change to the area, there is no end date established as this will depend on the national health crisis and government guidance.

We will work with local businesses and the town council to keep the changes under review and tweak if necessary.

If you have feedback on the changes, please email paul.salmon@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.