THE green space in the middle of the Marlow Hill roundabout could become High Wycombe’s newest park – as plans to make it easier for pedestrians to visit it are agreed.

The move is part of a long-awaited £500,000 project of improvements to the High Street and surrounding areas that was given the green light by councillors on Monday night.

The crumbling High Street – which has been heavily criticised by councillors and shoppers alike because of its state – is also finally set to be given a makeover as part of the High Wycombe town centre masterplan.

The High Street has previously been described as being “neglected” and Cllr Julia Wassell described the town’s public areas as having been “wrecked” over the years.

A member of the public also complained about the state of the pavements after breaking her kneecap when she tripped on a loose paving stone.

While the exact details of the work has not yet been revealed, it will include making improvements to the eastern end of the High Street and putting in place an “enhanced” maintenance programme, if not a bigger makeover.

Changes to the way the gyratory at the bottom of Marlow Hill works will also be considered – with a possibility for reducing the traffic using it so pedestrians can make use of the large green space in the middle of the roundabout system.

The River Wye could also be “made more of” outside the Wycombe Swan.

Pedestrian connections from the railway to the town centre and the university are also part of the package and much-needed improvements to Frogmoor, which council reports say is “underutilised”.

Improvements to the numerous service yards between the High Street and the Swan theatre could also be made as well as “making more” of the space there.

The controversial Abbey Way flyover could also be reviewed in terms of traffic flow and maintenance needed and improvements made to the Oxford Road roundabout and the Oxford Road.

David Johncock said the project should be started “without any further delay”.

He said: “We still have remaining funds to the tune of more than £3 million and I want to start using some of that money for long-planned rejuvenation works centred on the High Street.

“We now have a dedicated officer in Transport for Bucks who has put together a detailed programme of works amounting to £500,000.”

The move has been praised by Cllr Lesley Clarke OBE, who has been campaigning for major improvements to be made for years.

She said: “This has been a very long time coming. I would love to see everything done. I would love to see the street furniture dealt with and all the bits and pieces.

“I just hope that this is all done and we don’t have any more setbacks. Although we signed the memorandum of understanding very quickly yet we still seem to be dragging our heels. I do hope we can start to see some real benefit.

“It has been left for too long.”