Work to start on Gold Street Improvements
|Published: 13th December 2008 21:07|
Work to start on Gold Street improvements
Work is set to begin Monday, January 5 on a multi-million pound scheme which will transform Northampton's Gold Street to improve the route from the train station to the town centre.
Improving Gold Street is a key part of the ongoing Public Realm project being funded by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation and delivered by Northamptonshire County Council in partnership with Northampton Borough Council.
The Public Realm project will improve Northampton town centre for residents and visitors by enhancing the quality and appearance of the town centre to make it more attractive to the town's growing population. Work will include new road paving, new street furniture, such as benches and litter bins and pedestrian-friendly, wider pavements. The scheme will use high-quailty materials througout, complimenting the existing historic buildings in the street.
Following consultation with traders and businesses, the scheme has been updated to include two extra loading bays on the north side of the street with less restrictive loading and unloading times to allow delivery vehicles to visit the premises throughout the day.
The renewal of the water main is one of the major undertakings of the project. The two existing water mains on Gold Street are at least 70 years old and are reaching the end of their life. The works have therefore been delayed to coordinate with the replacement of the mains whilst also avoiding any disruption to traders and shoppers during the run up to Christmas.
The county council's highways services provider, MGWSP, will be carrying out the work which is likely to continue until mid Summer 2009 and throughout this period Gold Street will be closed to all through traffic.
The Gold Street scheme will complete the upgrade of the route from the train station to All Saints Church at the heart of town and follows the improvements to Black Lion Hill and Marefair.
Councillor Bob Seery, county council cabinet member for transport and highways said: "This work will transform Gold Street and substantially improve the link between the train station and the town centre to make it more welcoming to visitors and pedestrians and boost trade in the area.
"We have listened to feedback from traders and have added extra loading and unloading bays into the overall road scheme so that deliveries can take place throughout the day. We have also held back the start date for the works to avoid the important period of trading during the run up to Christmas.
"We recognise that during the construction period there is likely to be some disruption to both traders and the public; however we firmly believe that the short-term disruption will be far outweighed by the long-term benefits the scheme will bring to the economic activity and vitality of Gold Street and the town centre and we would ask everyone to be patient while work is taking place."
Harj Dhaliwal, Director of Infrastructure and Delivery for WNDC said: "The work starting in Gold Street is part of the £6m investment WNDC is making to bring a refreshing new face to Northampton town centre. Having already revitalised the route from Black Lion Hill up Marefair, WNDC is pleased to see that the next phase of the revitalisation will be underway after Christmas.
"The work will make big changes at street level making it more appealing and much safer for pedestrians. An attractive town centre for current and future residents will help Northampton grow into a thriving place for business, leisure, shopping and culture."
Councillor Richard Church, Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for regeneration said: "Improving our town centre can only be good for shoppers and good for businesses. Gold Street is an important gateway into the town centre and is the first impression many people get of Northampton.
"The Public Realm project is investing in Gold Street to make improvements that will benefit the many shops and businesses in the area by creating an attractive and vibrant area that offers a better shopping experience for visitors and shoppers."
Source - Northampton County Council
Image courtesy of Digital Photography