CONSTRUCTION work on the £2.95million pedestrianisation scheme for Braintree town centre is now underway and progressing well council bosses say.

Braintree Council say the contractor for the project, Malborough Highways, has started the first phase of the construction works.

The work will see Market Place, Great Square and the High Street transformed into a new public space with one-level paving, street furniture, CCTV, Wi-Fi hotspots, trees and new seating areas.

Pictures show work is underway at the end of the High Street which the council say includes construction of new kerbs to help end long-running safety concerns, including the damage of vehicles striking the historic building used by Shake Express.

The council have also announced a one-way diversion route has been introduced so people can access all the shops which are open for business as usual.

Residents are being urged by the council to follow the signage on display for their safety as well as others.

The multi-million pedestrianisation scheme is part of a major investment in the town centre alongside the £30million Victoria Square development.

It hopes to modernise the town centre to bring more people into the centre, boost trade for existing local businesses, but also attract new businesses into Braintree.

The council are also encouraging blue badge holders to make use of the 17 new disabled parking bays at Bank Street now that Great Square and Market Place are being pedestrianised.

They say additional blue badge bays are available at George Yard Shopping Centre car park, Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s.

Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, Councillor Tom Cunningham said: “It’s great to see that progress is being made on the pedestrianisation scheme and it’s finally becoming a reality.

"I would like to thank all residents, visitors and businesses for their patience and understanding whilst works are underway – we know it’s not ideal during the pandemic but the scheme has been in the pipeline for a long time, and it’s important we get on with it.

"The scheme will play a key part in our town centre bouncing back from the impacts of coronavirus, giving opportunities for us to create a new vibrant and accessible environment, bring people back into our town centre and boost footfall for our local businesses.”

Del Whitlam, Public Liaison Officer at Marlborough Highways, added: “Our team are busy working on the pedestrianisation scheme in two key areas of the town: the junction of High Street and Bank Street and the junction of St Michaels Lane and High Street.

"The safety of visitors is a key priority and to help everyone to keep a safe distance whilst walking through the town, and where space is tight, we have installed one-way systems complete with relevant signage.”

The latest updates of the scheme can be found online at