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6 January 2011, 11:20
Wellingborough town centre’s shoppers and businesses were given a new year boost this week with the news that improvement works along Market Street could finish ahead of schedule.
The works resumed on Tuesday after being put on hold over the busy Christmas period, and were due to finish at the end of March. Now Wellingborough Council and contractors MGWSP have reviewed the way the final sections of the improvements will be carried out, meaning that they could finish weeks earlier than planned.
The new programme of works means that both ends of Market Street – both the Cambridge Street junction and the Midland Road junction – will be worked on at the same time.
Vehicles will still be able to use Cambridge Street and Midland Road, but traffic will operate in both directions, and vehicles will have to leave the area the same way they came in. A gatesman will be posted at the end of Cambridge Street to help larger vehicles reverse if they are having difficulty turning around. There will also be access for vehicles via Whitehorse Yard (across the market), which again will operate in both directions. The two-way traffic will continue until the works finish, at which point all the roads affected will be used as before.
Access for pedestrians to all properties, businesses and shops in Market Street will continue to be available as normal during opening hours.
Councillor Graham Lawman, chairman of the council’s development committee said: “It’s really good news that by working on these two sections of road at the same time we could complete the works a few weeks early. I know that the traders and the public are keen for the disruption to come to an end as soon as possible, and we’re doing everything we can to help them. People do understand that the works are really important, both to improve the town centre and also because Market Street’s foundations were failing, but we appreciate that it’s still inconvenient. By revising the programme of works and finishing earlier than planned, we are trying to ease that inconvenience a bit. There will be clear signs to help drivers and pedestrians get used to the new layouts and MGWSP representatives will be on hand to help people access Market Street with all its varied and interesting shops.”
Wellingborough Council worked with Northamptonshire County Council and the North Northants Development Company to secure significant government funding to meet the cost of these improvements.