DRIVERS are being urged to prepare for major changes to High Wycombe town centre roads - which come into force next week.

Overnight on May 29, 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 £3.7 million project forms part of the wider £15 million High Wycombe town centre masterplan to transform the area for shoppers and businesses.

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.

Bucks Free Press:

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.

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Bucks Free Press:

Temporary traffic lights are operating at both junctions while new permanent light phasing is programmed.

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Mark Shaw, Bucks 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.”

Cllr David Johncock, Wycombe District Council’s planning and sustainability chief, added: “This 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.”