From today (Monday 12 April), further lockdown restrictions have been lifted and businesses in Bedford Borough will once again be able to open their doors to local residents, shoppers and visitors.
Alongside non-essential retail, we have also welcomed back outdoor hospitality, indoor leisure facilities including gyms, personal care services such as hairdressers and beauty salons, and libraries.
While the town centre has been closed, Bedford Borough Council have delivered significant public realm improvements to Silver Street Square and repaving work in Allhallows is to be completed by the end of April 2021.
Alongside public realm improvements, the Council has been upgrading the road, cycling and pedestrian networks to improve accessibility and connectivity of Bedford Town Centre, making it easier for people to visit. A new secure bicycle parking facility will open soon in Harpur Square, and temporary loading bays and new dropped kerbs have been installed to support local businesses, visitors and shoppers.
Councillor Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning, said "Bedford's businesses have done an amazing job under Government restrictions and I know they are ready to welcome us all back to Bedford Town Centre. We welcome the changing of these restrictions and are working alongside businesses to make sure they have the support they need to reopen safely and in line with government guidance. On top of this, we've been working hard to make sure that Bedford Town Centre is in excellent condition for reopening. This includes tackling minor repairs as well as delivering major public realm improvements to Silver Street Square, such as completely repaving the square with York stone, opening up the environment and planting six new trees. We have also been working to deliver improvements to Allhallows, which we expect to have completed by the end of April 2021. We're urging everyone to shop local and support the great independent and national chain stores that we have to offer in Bedford Borough and to visit local businesses in town and enjoy the town centre and riverside responsibly. And if you do go out, remember to follow the 'Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air' advice in order to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus."
Car parks in Bedford town centre have also reopened, following an extended period of closure due to lockdown restrictions. This will include the reopening of the newly refurbished St. Peter's Street Car Park, which has been closed for resurfacing and repairs. Two hours free parking will be available every weekday at Queen Street Multi Storey Car Park, alongside free parking after 6pm in all Council owned car parks, except River Street Car Park.