A complete ban on cars in Kettering town centre is to be brought in as part of a £250,000 pedestrianisation project.
Kettering Council’s executive committee approved the project at a meeting last week and work, which will include rising bollards, will begin in the near future.
Kettering councillor Michael Brown said the scheme was about making the town centre environment both safer and more attractive to shoppers.
He said: “At the moment we have a situation where cars park in Gold Street in particular on Sundays.
“Council car parks are free to use on Sundays, and by blocking cars from those main shopping areas cafés and restaurants can have outdoor seating areas and it will also be safer for pedestrians.”
The rising bollards will be installed at the main entrances to the shopping areas, such as Meadow Road and at the top of Gold Street near the Fuller Baptist Church, and fixed bollards will be installed elsewhere.
Kettering Council will also be working with Northamptonshire County Council to amend the current Traffic Regulation Order in the town centre.
Cllr Brown added: “Shoppers may already have noticed the spray-paint marks on the ground in some areas, which are showing where the workers will get power from and so on.
“At the moment we have issues when the market is in the town, for instance, where cars are trying to make their way into town and dodging stalls, children and other pedestrians.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have very wide shopping areas like in Northampton.”
Traders and shopkeepers from the affected areas were invited to drop-in sessions at Kettering Council in March, where they were told about the proposals.
Kettering Council said the feedback it received from traders was largely positive.
The council said deliveries will not be affected as the rising bollards will be accessible using a swipe card.
However, businesses will be asked to not receive deliveries during certain ‘core hours’ which are 10am to 4pm Sunday to Thursday, and 8am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday.
As part of the wider town centre work, Kettering Council is also improving the bus shelters in Newland Street.
The authority says the new shelters will be more modern and open.
Cllr Brown said the council has some longer-term plans which are currently at an early stage.
These include making Eskdaill Street a two-way road and making some further improvements to Newland Street.