One of the busiest streets in North Shields town centre is about to be transformed by a major programme of improvements.
Works to upgrade Bedford Street are due to start in mid-2024. The street will be repaved, with mature trees and seating added.
The works will be carried out by the Council’s construction partners Capita. Government funding has been secured as part of the North East devolution deal ahead of the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority being formed in May.
The scheme will have a high-quality finish, bringing it up to the same standard as other regeneration sites in the town. This will connect and support the completed and ongoing works at the Transport Hub, Howard Street, Northumberland Square, and the Riverside Embankment Walkway linking the Fish Quay to the town centre.
Vehicular access to Bedford Street will be restricted once the new layout is in place, with access for emergency services. This is because safety concerns have been raised with the Council by members of the public about vehicles and pedestrians coming into conflict.
Council officers have been engaging with and will continue to work with businesses located on Bedford Street to discuss their needs. Access will be maintained so they can continue trading throughout the works.
Cllr Carl Johnson, Deputy Mayor for North Tyneside and cabinet member responsible for Regeneration and Economic Development said: “Bedford Street is at the heart of North Shields and this improvement scheme is a crucial part of our vision for the future of the town.
“Our ambitious masterplan for North Shields and the Fish Quay is really coming together, and Bedford Street will now be brought up to the same fantastic standard as the new Transport Hub and Town Square.
“We’ve transformed Northumberland Square and Howard Street, there are lots of exciting things happening in and around North Shields Cultural Quarter and we’re creating new gateways to the town that are better for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Once the work on Bedford Street is complete, North Shields will be a more attractive place to live, work and visit, and a much safer and more welcoming environment for pedestrians.
“There will be some disruption while the works take place but we’re making sure Bedford Street can remain open for business. We’ll do everything we can to support businesses in the meantime and we’re confident they will really feel the benefits of this scheme once it’s done.”