A major scheme to improve Keynsham High Street and revitalize the town centre is under way with construction works having begun in earnest.
The project being carried out by Bath & North East Somerset Council began on June 1, starting with lifting of the existing paving and kerbs in front of the Methodist Church and laying of new high-quality materials. The contra-flow cycle lane has also been closed to create a temporary pedestrian walkway, to preserve safety and facilitate the works as they continue in sections along the west side of the high street toward Temple Street.
The High Street scheme is funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth and Getting Building Funds, administered by the West of England Combined Authority. It is also funded by the Combined Authority through its Love our High Streets programme.
West of England Metro Mayor, Dan Norris, visited the site with council Leader, Councillor Kevin Guy, to view progress with the Chair of Keynsham Town Council, Councillor Andy Wait.
The public realm scheme has also presented an opportunity for the council to coordinate the works with Openreach to upgrade their existing broadband infrastructure to full fibre ahead of the new paving being laid. This will provide many Keynsham businesses and residents with faster, more reliable access to the internet.
The council was awarded £1.5 million, through the West of England Combined Authority, towards the cost of implementing the first phase of public realm improvements in June 2019 to help create a better retail environment, encourage an increase in footfall and support the local economy.
The project will deliver footpath widening and resurfacing, better signage and cycling and bus stop facilities on the High Street between Bath Hill and Charlton Road. There will also be new street furniture, streetlights, landscaping and trees.
The rearrangement of the temporary one-way system on the High Street will enable opportunities for walking, cycling and other sustainable modes of transport.
The highway will only be restricted during the existing road closure which is in place for social distancing and will remain open unless a restriction is required by the construction programme.
The council is working closely with traders to minimise disruption and ensure access during trading hours. Customers and traders are still able to access their premises.