The ‘unsightly’ orange barriers in Epping High Street are set to become a thing of the past as the council begins work to widen the pavements.

The barriers were put up and the beginning of the pandemic as part of measures to increase space for pedestrians and assist in social distancing.

However, over the course of the year the barriers have often been blown over by the wind or knocked over, leaving the High Street looking less than picturesque.

The project, funded by Epping Forest District Council, will see the end of the wind-blown temporary orange barriers, with wider pavements, flower planters, more bike racks and more outdoor seating along the road.

The work will be scheduled around the town’s popular Monday market and is expected to last two to three weeks.

“There will inevitably be some disruption at times during the construction works, but we will aim to keep residents, shoppers and businesses informed throughout the process and minimise disruption,” a council spokesperson said.

“Works will be completed between markets and we hope local people will bear with us as we work to remove the unsightly rows of orange barriers – a short-term solution to encourage social distancing at the beginning of lockdown – with proper, level-access pavements.”

There are three main sections of pavement which will be widened: outside M&S; outside McColls and the Post Office; and outside Barclays bank.

The changes are time limited and expected to last 12-18 months.

The council spokesman added: “These works will ensure the High Street can operate safely, restore local confidence and help keep our residents safe.”