On 24 May, VolkerHighways officially began a £1.45 million public realm improvement works package on Keynsham High Street, on behalf of Bath & North East Somerset Council.
The works involve permanent improvements to the area, including footpath widening and resurfacing, better signage, and cycling and bus stop facilities. The team will also install new street furniture and streetlights, as well as landscaping the area.
Following a public and stakeholder engagement event, organised by the council last year, additional works were added to the final design. These include new paving in front of the Methodist Church, relocation of several planters, to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and dropped kerbs on accessible parking bays.
The project, which is funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth and Getting Building Funds, and the West of England Combined Authority, through its Love our High Streets programme, will help to rejuvenate the town centre and attract locals and visitors back to the high street.
The scheme will be constructed in phases, starting on the west side of the high street, to minimise disruption and ensure retail access is maintained during trading hours.
Several key people have already made visits to view the progress of works, including Dan Norris, West of England Metro Mayor, Councillor Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council and Councillor Andy Wait, Chair of Keynsham Town Council.
The project is part of VolkerHighways’ seven-year highways term maintenance contract with Bath & North East Somerset Council, which started in 2019. Works along Keynsham High Street are due to complete in December 2021.
Kofi Agyen-Frempong, project manager for VolkerHighways, said: “We are delighted to be starting work on this public realm project, on behalf of Bath & North East Somerset Council. As the High Street begins to re-open, the improvement works will be fundamental in residents and visitors returning and enjoying the area once again.”
Councillor Richard Samuel, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development, said: “These works are the first step in revitalising Keynsham town centre. They will also improve sustainable transport by encouraging more pedestrians, cyclists and bus users to continue to make short local trips by walking or wheeling.
The town centre is set to benefit from significant investment over the next few years which will go a long way to keeping its position as a successful independent centre and the focus of Keynsham’s public life.”
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