Work will start in the New Year on phase one of a scheme to regenerate the Fleet Street shopping area of Torquay.

The scheme, which will involve temporary road closures and alterations to bus services, is being carried out following consultation held in May.

The 140-metre section of Fleet Street that will be improved is between The Strand and the Oggy Oggy pasty shop and KFC restaurant.

Block paving that was originally laid in 1989 will be removed and will be replaced with granite paving similar to the paving already used in Union Street.

A two tone colour surface with tactile paving to assist people with visual impairments will be laid.

This will create a clear division between the road surface used by buses and delivery vehicles and the area for pedestrians.

Other work will be carried out to provide more space for pedestrians and to improve facilities for people waiting to catch buses.

Contractors will start work on site in the third week of January, and the scheme is scheduled for completion by the middle of June.

From, January 14 to February 19, Fleet Street will be closed to buses to enable critical works to be completed. It will have to be closed again for a further week towards the end of the contract for carriageway surfacing works.

Temporary closures will also be needed in The Terrace and part of Cary Parade.

Changes to bus services during the closure periods will be publicised, and letters are being delivered locally to inform people of the works schedule and road closure dates.

Throughout the scheme, Torbay Council and the contractors will liaise with shops and businesses to ensure that access for pedestrians and deliveries is maintained.

The New Year scheme forms the first of a proposed three-phase £2.5-million Fleet Street revamp, with the next two phases being subject to funding being allocated in future budgets.