Crumbling pavements are being repaired in a town centre after traders demanded action.
But it means the section of High Street between the roundabout and the junction with Williamson Street is closed to all traffic – except deliveries and northbound buses.
Southbound buses are being diverted and a shuttle bus will serve the bus stops outside Asda and the police station.
It is hoped that most of the work will be completed before non-essential shops reopen on June 15 following the coronavirus lockdown.
Traders have welcomed the scheme.
Kaz Green, manager at the ExtraCare Charitable Trust shop, on High Street, said: “We get a lot of elderly customers so having newly-resurfaced pavements will really benefit them and improve the appearance of the area. It’s good to see improvements on High Street.”
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The work will see the pavements reconstructed on both sides of High Street. The existing Yorkstone paving will remain outside the town hall. Any damaged signs or street furniture and unnecessary ‘street clutter’ will be removed.
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is something traders on High Street have previously asked for and I’m pleased we’ve now started the work.
“The project will coincide with the planned reopening of shops and businesses and hopefully provide a little timely boost as the economy starts to get back to its feet.”
Work has continued to restore Tunstall Town Hall during the lockdown. Scaffolding has been put up inside and outside the building so work can take place to repair the roof, windows and brickwork and make the building watertight.
The new-look building – which has been vacant for around 20 years and is expected to reopen next summer – will house council staff, a children’s centre, the local centre and the library. The public will once again be able to access the hall through the main doors.
Mr Jellyman added: “Bringing this magnificent building in the heart of the High Street back to life will give the area a big boost, and the work to refurbish the pavements will complement the scheme. We’re also planning to renew the road surface on High Street at a future date.”