Published: Fri 27th August, 2021
A town centre road in Loughborough will close for around nine weeks as a multi-million pound improvement scheme progresses.
The £2.6 million Bedford Square Gateway Project is being carried out by Charnwood Borough Council to make the town centre more attractive to visitors, increase footfall and support local businesses.
Work started earlier this year and high-quality paving has been installed in Devonshire Lane and improvements to Bedford Square North Car Park are almost complete.
The widening of pavements and making public areas more attractive will make this a better, more comfortable, and safer destination for shoppers and increase footfall for local businesses.
Ward’s End and Devonshire Square will be closed to traffic from Monday, September 6 and reopen just before Loughborough Fair which is due to take place from November 10. Access to Granby Street car park will be via Granby Street which will be made two-way temporarily.
Pedestrian access to shops, businesses and homes in the area will remain at all times.
A council spokesperson said: “The Bedford Square Gateway project will make the town centre a more attractive place to visit, drive footfall in that area and support local businesses. Similar schemes in other towns have shown to increase footfall.
“However, carrying out a project of this size means there will inevitably be some disruption including road closures and we apologise for this inconvenience.
“We are working with our contractors to complete the works as quickly as possible.”
The road closure is necessary to allow the installation of paving in Ward’s End. The road is too narrow in places to allow the paving work to be carried out safely and for traffic to continue passing through.
To support traders during the disruption, the Council has introduced free parking for up to an hour, in the evenings and on Sundays at Beehive Lane car park. This will continue and since its introduction in May, 21,000 free tickets have been issued.
The Council is also working with Love Loughborough to promote the town centre.
To complete the improvements to the Bedford Square North car park, final surfacing works will be undertaken in one night and will require Woodgate to be closed to traffic from 8pm on September 3 until 6am on 4 September. Diversionary signs will be put in place and Ward’s End will remain open.