Short sections of Market Street will be closed to traffic from today as work starts on transforming the road, making it more pedestrian-friendly and appealing to visitors.

The work is part of the £1m revamp of the area around the new Asda store and will continue from the former Big Lamp roundabout through to St George’s Street over the next six months.

The improvements will be done in stages with sections of Market Street closed to traffic for a few weeks at a time – the first area to be done will be from Pall Mall to Cunliffe Street.

The carriageway of Market Street will be narrowed and resurfaced and natural granite and high quality paving will be used on the footways, loading and parking areas. A number of courtesy crossings will be constructed for pedestrians, and a restricted parking zone will be introduced on Market Street to avoid the requirement of yellow lines on the road surface.

The Big Lamp itself will be re-positioned on a plinth in the new widened footway area of Pall Mall at its junction with Market Street.

Once the highway work is complete, Market Street will work as a shared surface meaning that pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles will travel on the same level which is much more attractive to the eye and pedestrian-friendly as it will encourage a reduced speed in traffic.

Councillor Peter Wilson, Deputy Leader of Chorley Council, said: “It’s great to see that work is progressing well on the improvements around the new Asda store and the next phase of work will really start to bring home the improvements that we will see in that part of town.

“The whole of Market Street from the junction of Pall Mall to St George’s Street will be transformed into a more pedestrian-friendly area with wider pavements, benches and trees and I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to work closely with Lancashire County Council to get this done as quickly as we can.”

The scheme is also part-funded by Asda as part of their development in that part of town.