Bedford town centre gets £18m to tackle congestion
A town centre street will be reduced to one lane as part of an £18m plan intended to tackle congestion.
Bedford Borough Council said the work on High Street in the town would take place alongside modifications in Ampthill Road.
Traffic signals will also be introduced at the Shakespeare Road/Ashburnham Road junction as part of the government-funded project.
Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson said the work would tackle "traffic hotspots".
"Never before has so much money been invested in our town centre roads," he said.
"This will cut congestion, improve safety for all road users and significantly boost the local economy."
Kate Temple, the general manager of Goldings, which has been on High Street for 150 years, said: "It is a lovely idea from a business point of view as long as there will be a guarantee that traffic will go somewhere else and not create a permanent traffic queue."
The council said the plans would "create more room for shoppers".
Another scheme aims to improve traffic flow and capacity around Bedford Hospital by modifying nearby junctions.
Work is expected to start in 2018 and be completed by 2021.