The Saxon Centre in Kempston is under utilized and could be a great outdoor cafe area
The town centre needs to focus on what is unique - as one response said, th USP. The area around the main shopping centre is horrible - oldfashioned, ugly and often dirty and unpleasant to go to. It needs to be a place people choose to go to because it's a pleasant environment and there's a lot more to that than reducing traffic flow along the high street. The walk from the station is unpleasant - it's difficult to know what Bedford is about other than cheap takaways and grubby cafes etc. The area around the Cineworld cinema is excellent for free parking and walking into town, using the embankment. The idea that it's going to be largely built on will remove one of the main reasons for visiting Bedford.
No it just needs sorting
Bedford Town Centre's public toilets are not clean, damp and dimly lit. Need to be more alligned with the Milton Keynes central toilets as these are welcoming, always clean, never smell etc. Bedford's are simply shocking at best.
Traffic and awfully designed car parks at barriers to visiting the town centre
You MUST do something about Bedford Town Centre. It's decreasing footfall means that people are losing interest and the only things that seem to be left are dirty shouty pubs & empty spaces. I really believe that we could be a regional hub for independent traders, not those associated with big names. This could be a huge advantage for us. That's not to say get rid of main brands altogether, obviously we residents want some of that. But as someone who shops regularly in bargain shops & charity shops, as well as craft markets & independent traders, we could create something really special in Bedford. For example, one of the (soon to be empty) department stores could be turned into a charity 'superstore' or department store', with each charity being a different department. As someone who's hobby is crafting, I'd love somewhere to meet up with other crafters & do our own thing for an afternoon in town. There are plenty of empty stores which would be able to house this sort of activity. But it's the rent - how much to hire a store for a Saturday? Too much for most first time business owners who may not have the experience to start businesses in the town. Which brings me to new business, you need to do much more to help people set up business in the town. I'd love to start a couple of them, but I've got no idea where to start, what to do (e.g. how do I do due diligence?). If the council wants employment, then it needs to start helping those of us who want to create businesses in the town centre by providing more support.
Plant more trees for shelter, cleaner air and well-being - much better than a couple of large faces. Reduce traffic, especially large vehicles. Create more pedestrian areas and cycle paths. Encourage local residents not to use their cars (often driving not much more than a mile to park in a town-centre car park). Perhaps removing the 2 hours free and giving locals a discount on bus travel for example. Improve park and ride services. Improve waste bins and recycling areas and discourage littering. Encourage local independent businesses and discourage large chains (e.g. coffee shops).
- Care for wildlife in the town centre and shops for people with animals. - More trees - My personal preference is for a traditional town centre - I think there are lots of good things about Bedford but I think it needs more maps for visitors and more visitor information (the library is pretty good) - More street art and performers - Better links with rural environs so people don't feel isolated and have access to goods and services.
Need to make more use of the river area in Bedford. Town centre needs to be thought about, ie Castle area and Riverside filled up with restaurants which are now closed ( pre Covid) and the Borough needs to learn from this. The area needs to be more accessible to car users. The Borough needs to provide more electric points for cars
Need to make more use of the river in Bedford. The Town centre needs to be thought about, ie Castle area and Riverside filled up with restaurants, most of which are now closed ( pre covid) and the Borough needs to learn from this. The centre needs to be more accessible for car users, and needs more electric charging points. Need to stop the focus on the High Street, which has had its day and focus on the pedestrian areas such as the Harper Centre and Riverside
A clean environment is esssential, footpaths are a trip hazard, litter is also a problem. More arts, crafts, local hero workshops perhaps?
THE PRESENT BUS STATION IN BEDFORD TOWN CENTRE IS A THILTHY, UNCLEANED,STINKING PLACE FOR THE USERS. THE BOUROUGH SHOULD CLEAN ITS ONWN HOUSE FIRST.
Support and protection of Bedford Rugby clubs that bring people to the town. Support and protection of the Bedford Golf club and completion of the promised park and ride from next to it into town. More embankment / high street weekend long events.
I have touched on it already - give the population reasons to go there and deliver time, after time. I would echo the comments above - 1. Encourage independent retailers with relevant products for our people 2. Make the town centre a mecca for artists and creativity 3. Clean it - keep it clean. If its dirty, perceived to be unsafe, expensive and unsafe to park, no integrated transport links, no COMPLETE cycling routes with safe storage.....healthy food, interesting shops beyond the chains that can be found anywhere....behaviour that says nobody cares. 4. Events and theatre - even if theatre has to be outside now. 5. Who will take ownership of the public spaces - you are our local government - these are your responsibility. 6. Answer the questions - what are the various profiles of or regional population? how many actually use the town centre now? what is stopping them from coming into the town? what do we need to do bring them back?
I would replace free town centre parking with free public transport, pedestrianize more areas of the town centre, improve bicycle access (hire bikes, like London and other larger towns and cities) and incorporate more green infrastructure throughout our urban spaces.
No. (I gave my views in the Town Plan consultation.)
As per my response in Q7
The Town Centre (and the Embankment) are NOT central to the needs of most of the people residing in Bedford Borough, and should therefore not be given special treatment and consideration. The needs of the Town Centre should be considered as an equal with all other areas of the Borough.
Get people on bikes, tricycles, tuk tucks Arcades are good - they could support sitting, browsing, buying outdoors but under cover. Rentals for shops are too high. We need more individual, artisan shops and delicatessens, small supermarkets, market stalls, butchers, fishmongers. Castle Road area is an amazing example of my vision for other parts of the town centre. Yes - make more modern but also make more of the lovely buildings by showcasing them somehow. Continue to support rough sleepers by getting them the help they need to be part of the community.
No, already a comprehensive review.
In light of current pandemic and the changes people have made to online shopping and the impact of social distancing. The Borough will need to work to secure the high street.
The town centre would benefit significantly from more animation and traffic on the river. The John Bunyan Community Boat is a huge tourist and visitor attraction carrying over 7,000 passengers a year.