AMBITIOUS proposals to pedestrianise Market Street and bring new life to the major thoroughfare - and Bradford city centre - have been revealed.

This artist's impression has been released to the Telegraph & Argus as proposals for a 'Market Street revival' begin to take shape.

Bradford businessman Doug Mclean, 50, of Tiffin Sandwiches, Tiffin Coffee, City Vaults, the Lord Clyde and Ginger Goose, is spearheading the campaign and believes the regeneration of the street could be the key to drawing people back into the city centre.

Mr Mclean said: "I just think Market Street itself is the best street in Bradford to develop and to grow, with it being flat, with it connecting Broadway from Centenary Square.

"I think the two most important things to me, for the future of Bradford at the moment, are Market Street and the Odeon, which will bring thousands of bodies in.

"People used to come to Bradford from Halifax, from Skipton, from Silsden, from all these places - it doesn't happen anymore."

He added: "Bradford can thrive again, but there's got to be places for people to come.

"I think Market Street is the key road."

One of the main barriers to pedestrianisation is Market Street's position as the main route for buses, however the team says as much research as possible is being done to look at the re-routing of buses and producing a plan to show how it could work. They believe this can be done without affecting public transport access to this part of the city centre.

Mr Mclean added: "I think it is doable. I remember years and years ago, Briggate in Leeds, you couldn't move there for buses and cars. Now you can't move for people."

He said the top end of town would be saved by a bottom end that 'works' and added: "The Broadway needs to be protected. We want to be the one where people think 'no, we do have to close and rationalise, but Bradford is where we're staying, it's still a major city'."

Mr Mclean added: "The first thing is to show to the Council it's doable, but from my point of view, we cannot expect people to start using Bradford city centre again, which we need to, the type of people we want to start using Bradford city centre again, without somewhere to come. Bradford is a small city centre and I don't think the investment it would take to do it would be so high that it would stop it happening."

The team behind the vision, which includes David Green, though not in his capacity as a Bradford councillor, say Market Street should be the main link between major retail, leisure, commercial and transport attractions in the city centre and believe it could - and should - be one of the city's 'star streets'.

They call Market Street the 'gateway' to The Broadway, which links the shopping centre to other developments like City Park, Alhambra and Bradford One, as well as providing better pedestrian links between Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square.

On top of this, they say it would link into the pedestrianised areas of Hustlergate, Ivegate, Darley Street and Kirkgate, as well as having the potential for being an events area - either in its own right - or as an extension of events held in City Park and Centenary Square.

Those involved are now in the process of putting pieces of the jigsaw together to present a plan to Bradford Council to show how it could be done.

In response to the vision, Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council's Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning & Transport, said: “The idea to pedestrianise Market Street is one that has been suggested a number of times over the years and I’ve spoken to some of the organisers about it before.

"The potential issues around the idea are quite well known, not just identifying funding but how traffic would be re-routed through the city centre, particularly the buses, which use the route quite heavily."

He added:"We’d be happy to have a chat about it and I look forward to seeing them as I know how passionate they are about Bradford and its success.”