Two-way changeover day set for 29 May
Pedestrians will need to look both ways before crossing two town centre roads in High Wycombe from Wednesday morning (29 May).
Overnight, Queen Victoria Road and Easton Street will become two-way - the first time both roads have seen traffic in both directions for more than 40 years - to improve north-south journey times.
The High Street/Queen Victoria Road crossroads and the Easton Street exit on to Abbey Way have been remodelled to allow two-way traffic, and traffic lights will synchronise with signals further up Crendon Street and along London Road.
The new arrangement allows traffic to travel straight on and make left turns, but now prohibits right turns from Queen Victoria Road into Easton Street. The two roads were resurfaced earlier in the month, along with new white lines, and signs will be installed to make the two-way system clear to motorists and pedestrians.
Ahead of changeover day, the right-hand lane in Queen Victoria Road and the southern lane in Easton Street will be closed to traffic to prepare them for switching direction to allow traffic to flow the other way. Temporary traffic lights are operating at both junctions while new permanent light phasing is programmed.
Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, said: "I'm very grateful to everyone for their patience over the past few months as we have prepared for this big switch. When we reach changeover day, I'd urge drivers to take extra care and pedestrians to look both ways when crossing!"
The £3.7 million scheme is part of the £15m High Wycombe Masterplan, which aims to make the town centre more attractive for shoppers, visitors and businesses.
David Johncock, Wycombe District Council's Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability, said: "The new road layout is part of our ambitious Town Centre Master Plan which, amongst other things, introduces the alternate route with the aim of improving travel times and enhancing the shopping and leisure experience for residents and visitors. Significantly, this phase of the roadworks will change what has been a one way route back into a two-way route and, after so many years of being one way, it will undoubtedly take a bit of getting used to. So I want to encourage everyone to plan ahead now and think how these changes might affect their travel routes particularly given the new 'no right turns'."
Richard Harrington, Chief Executive, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are delighted to see this BTVLEP supported scheme near completion, which aims to improve the road infrastructure in High Wycombe. Part of the High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan, this road improvement plays a key component in providing resilience for the town centre as an attractive focus for employment, shopping and leisure activities.”
The High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan is jointly funded by BTVLEP, Wycombe District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council.