Dunstable - giving back your high street

Dunstable High Street project overview

It’s an exciting time for Dunstable’s High Street

We are investing in your High Street. We want to create a more pleasant, safe and attractive High Street, reducing the sense of vehicles dominating the road, giving greater priority to pedestrians and cyclists and improving accessibility between and within different parts of the town centre. We aim to improve the identity of the High Street by creating a more traditional town centre that reflects the unique history of the area to attract shoppers and businesses to the area.

Artist's impression

This artist’s impression video gives a bird's eye view of the improvements we're making on Dunstable High Street.

The improvements we’ve made

Over the last 18 months, we have been making improvements to Middle Row, Ashton Square, High Street South and Queensway. High Street North has been remodelled, the traffic light timings are being changed and a four-way crossing is being installed at Church Street, West Street and Dunstable High Street.

The bus turnaround on The Square adjacent to High Street South has been maintained. The zebra crossing opposite the clock tower and Priory House has been installed. Drainage attenuation and rain gardens have been built across all improved roads throughout the town centre. Pavements have been laid from the junction with Friars Walk to Priory House on High Street South.

On the Queensway junction with High Street North, the signal junction and pedestrian crossing have been upgraded and repositioned. The raised table (traffic calming measure) has been installed and the road has been resurfaced on High Street North from Grove House to Manchester Place junction.

On Court Drive, a new zebra crossing, parallel controlled crossings and uncontrolled crossings have been installed, and pavements have been resurfaced.

The improvements we're making

Roadmap for Dunstable High Street

We're planning many improvements for Dunstable, including:

  • drainage
  • kerbs and paving
  • surfacing
  • signs and street furniture

Timescales for works are:

  • 10 May to mid-August 2021: High Street North junction with Queensway
  • End of August to mid-October 2021: High Street South main junction
  • Mid-October to end of December 2021: Church Street
  • Mid-December 2021 to end of March 2022: West Street and Cross Road junction

History of the High Street

Dunstable's High Street and crossroads have played a key role in the town’s proud history, but over the years increased levels of traffic have led to heavy congestion and caused the town centre to lose some of its sparkle. We want to build upon Dunstable’s existing heritage to create a new and improved, people-orientated High Street with the feel of a town which caters to the needs of both locals and visitors.

A thriving, modern high street

The best way to prepare for the future is to invest in it. The High Street is not just for the ‘butcher, baker and candlestick maker’ and we want to redefine the experience of your local High Street, offering a promenade look and feel, with a sense of a central thoroughfare to attract shoppers and visitors. Dunstable will become a connected 21st century town centre. Building on its heritage and green space, Dunstable will become an attractive and accessible choice for residents, employees, employers, investors and visitors alike. The town will bring more to a wider range of people, offering an experience that will return to the social focus of the High Street, making it stand out from the crowd and giving a renewed sense of belonging.

A unique opportunity

The money used on the High Street improvements has not come from Council Tax. As well as money from Highways England, we've bid for external funding to enable us to improve the High Street. The conditions of this funding mean it can only be used on improving the roads and pavements. It cannot be used on buildings, reducing rates or anything else.

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