CONTROVERSIAL improvement works to a road in Stourport town centre which traders say have been hampering trade are now complete.

Councillor Stephen Clee, Wyre Forest District Council's cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said it was now "back to business as usual" in Bridge Street with an end to traffic disruption.

The road and footpaths have been given new surfaces while pedestrian finger posts and litter bins are being added.

Heritage style lighting and a new mosaic celebrating the relationship between the town's shops and the canal basins, have also been installed.

The improvement scheme has been funded through a partnership involving the district council, Worcestershire County Council and Stourport Forward Market Towns Initiative funded by Advantage West Midlands.

It marks the first phase of a wider regeneration plan for the area and coincides with planned improvements to the riverside meadows.

The scheme is also connected to contentious proposals to redevelop the area around the Lloyds Garage site which is set to be transformed into a gateway development linking the basins with the town centre.

It was recently announced that a compulsory purchase order has been served on the owners of this site.

Mr Clee said: "We are now be able to get back to business as usual in Bridge Street. We have a quality street scene and a resplendent landmark bridge.

"It all means that this part of town is well placed for the years ahead. As a council we are working hard to bring forward the redevelopment of the key sites in the area."

Julie Conder, acting chairman of Stourport Forward, said: "We are delighted to see the final completion of this project, which is one of the first projects to be implemented as a result of the Stourport Pride Report.

"It is part of the ongoing regeneration of Stourport, helping to ensure that it remains a town that we can truly be proud of."

Severn Trent will be continuing their on-going programme of works elsewhere in the town, but there are no further planned works to Bridge Street.