Residents living in the Midland Road area of Bedford have branded it the ‘gateway to hell’.
Anti-social behaviour and environmental issues all add to the area’s negative reputation, they claim.
One said: “It’s become a no-go area, some parts look like the gateway to hell.”
And another resident who moved to the area nearly 20 years ago, said Midland Road had become the rundown, forgotten end of town.
She said: “Midland Road is a major artery from the train station into the town centre but filthy streets and rundown properties are the first things people see.
“When I have to force myself to go downMidland Road to the shops, I despair at the amount of trashiness, pollution and harsh reality of desperation I come across.
“People have lost respect for this area and treat it as a dumping ground for undesirables to congregate and litter, spit and urinate.
“This has been going on for years and allowed to get worse.
“What is the likelihood that Bedford will attract new business or that people will want to walk along Midland Road to the new Riverside development?
“If we had more young professionals from London ready to rent in this area and commute – that would be great. But who in their right mind would want to come here?
“Luton, of all places, is now more appealing.”
The woman also claims some landlords, who may not be registered, have been “allowed to tear down, carve up and slaughter the heritage of these once attractive and beautiful properties.
“There’s rubbish piled high everywhere which attracts rats and the parking problems are pretty dismal.
“One of our neighbours is now drilling and carving up their property to let out to new tenants.
“Also, they are charging the tenants £300 per month for electricity, which none of them can afford so they sometimes ask to come in and hover by the fire and plug in their phone chargers.”
Residents have written to Bedford & Kempston MP Richard Fuller, who runs his constituency office from Midland Road, to call for action.
A Bedford Borough Council spokesman said: “Bedford Borough Council recognises the significance of this area and is already working with partners to deliver regeneration in the Midland Road area.”