CBC to Reveal New Plans for Improving Dunstable High Street

Central Bedfordshire Council are set to reveal their plans for improving Dunstable. The plans will be online from 6th November, and public events will be starting from Tuesday 14 November.

Last year CBC asked the public for their ideas for how to improve Dunstable High Street. They asked what would encourage the public to spend more time in the High Street, and how it could be made safer to cross, and more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists?

Looking Forward

The public said they wanted to prioritise pedestrians, as they are the ones spending money in the shops and businesses, through a boulevard-style high street with cafes on wider pavements; more greenery; and more public areas and places to sit. The public also favoured the removal of railings so that pedestrians can get to different areas around town, and improving the traffic lights at the main crossroads. As well as the High Street, there are proposed improvements to the Middle Row; the Market Square; and Queensway.

Four ‘gateway’ features at key locations will help to define the town centre, and to indicate to drivers that they are entering a pedestrian-friendly area. The gateway features could also include information about the history of Dunstable and have a map to show key places of interest. To reflect the town’s history, CBC are suggesting these are named Friars Gate; Eleanor’s Gate; Priory Gate; and St Mary’s Gate.

High Street and Cross Roads - a Proud History

Dunstable High Street 1925 almost traffic free and 2016 very congested 
Councillor Nigel Young, CBC's Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “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 has 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 High Street. We want to make it people-orientated, with the feel of a market town which caters to the needs of both locals and visitors.

“Now that the Woodside Link and A5-M1 Link roads are open, the heavy lorries and motorway traffic are being taken away from the centre of Dunstable and the High Street is no longer the main through-route. Highways England is providing £1.5 million of funding for Dunstable in recognition of the impact the heavy traffic has had on the town when the High Street was the A5 and a major route to and from the M1 motorway. This will allow us to start making much needed enhancements to the High Street. We will continue to bid for more funding so we can undertake further improvements. We are delighted to be working with the Dunstable and District Local History Society and local designers to create the town gateway features, as well as public art in other locations in the town where the history of Dunstable can be reflected.

You can see the plans and make comments between 6 November and 8 December online, or speak to council staff at the following dates and times.

Public drop-in events

Central Bedfordshire College
Dates and times: Tuesday, 14 November from 2pm to 4pm and Thursday, 16 November from 10am to midday
Venue: Central Bedfordshire College, Kingsway, Dunstable, LU5 4HG

Dunstable Library
Dates and times: Saturday, 2 December from 11am to 4pm and Tuesday, 5 December from 4pm to 6pm
Venue: Dunstable Library, Vernon Place, Dunstable, LU5 4EX
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