Staffordshire town revamp work begins
Work has begun on a £1.2m package of improvements to revitalise a Staffordshire town centre.
Phase one will focus on the bottom end of the Ironmarket near Queens Gardens, in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
A new taxi rank will be created as well as more accessible and wider disabled parking spaces and an improved turning area for vehicles.
The first phase is due to be completed in May but until then there will be no disabled parking in that area.
A council spokesman said motorists with blue badges have been advised to use other parking spaces in the town centre while the work goes on.
Councillor Robin Studd, deputy leader of the borough council and cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said: "We are asking shops, market stallholders and shoppers to bear with us during this large programme of works because there may be some short-term disruption.
"However, we believe that in the longer term this disruption will be well worth it as we see some very significant improvements in our town centre."
Part of the proposals put forward by Newcastle Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council for a later stage include a revamp of the town's market with new pitches for traders.
There are also proposals to create more pedestrianised areas and improve public transport links.
The borough council has contributed £415,000 to the scheme with the remainder coming from the county council.
It is expected the rest of the works will be completed early in 2013.