A town’s central shopping street is to receive a £2.3m investment to ‘reduce the dominance of traffic’ and make it safer.

Market Street in Westhoughton is undergo public realm changes later this year which Bolton Council said will create ‘a main road that makes it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to use’, causes the ‘slowing down of car borne traffic’ and has the potential to link the cycle network through the town centre and into Central Park.

Ideas to partially or fully pedestrianise Market Street did not gain any support during a previous public consultation on the plans.

The work is set to begin in July or early August this year with completion on site in March or April 2023.

Bolton Council have agreed today to spend the £2.3m on a number of schemes for Market Street.

They include natural Yorkstone paving outside the town hall, Westhoughton market and Ditchfield Gardens, with a hard wearing and durable concrete paving elsewhere.

Westhoughton Market St 2

Westhoughton Market St 2

The existing road will be left as it is with raised surface crossing areas funded by Transport for Greater Manchester.

There will be new timber seats with arms that are Forestry Stewardship Council accredited to ensure they meet the highest environmental standards.

Litter bins to match the seating will be installed and cycle stands will be built next to the market and town hall.

The council said there would also be ‘planting with seasonal interest that will be tolerant to temperature and rainfall variation’.

In a report to Coun Adele Warren, Bolton’s cabinet member for regeneration,  Paul Whittingham, assistant director, economic development and regeneration, gave assurances to town centre traders about disruption during the work.

He said: “Throughout the works disruption to traders and pedestrians will be kept to a minimum and in keeping with usual council procedures all traders will have access to their business with no break in continuity of trading.”

Mr Whittingham said that the scheme has been designed with materials and stone which would be appropriate to the conservation area.

He added: “The scheme is more pedestrian and cycle friendly with footway widening where appropriate to slow traffic and prioritise pedestrians.”

A tendering exercise will now take place for contractors to bid to take on the work.