Biggleswade one-way system blamed for Sun Street ‘speeding problem’

Tushar Bhatnagar in Sun Street. Picture: Avadhi Bhatnagar

Tushar Bhatnagar in Sun Street. Picture: Avadhi Bhatnagar - Credit: Archant

The one-way system introduced to tackle traffic problems in the middle of Biggleswade is still causing concerns about speeding, more than a year on.

Tushar Bhatnagar, who lives in Sun Street, raised concerns about speeding that led police to watch traffic there for a week – with officers finding that more than 95 per cent of drivers in Sun Street kept to the 30mph speed limit.

Some 33,575 vehicles were seen going past, of which 1,617 went too fast and 10 went down the one-way street the wrong way.

Police concluded that this did not support the need for a speed camera or other traffic calming – but Mr Bhatnagar disagrees, and says even having five per cent of drivers speed is too great a risk.

He said: “The speed breakers cause so much nuisance on the street, especially in the wee hours. The results from the police were appalling, but still under the tolerance so they have decided not to put any cameras or signs up to curb the nuisance and enhance the safety of the local residents.

“I feel helpless now – I don’t know what else to do and where else to go. I’m sure other people are facing the same issue.

“We all know process is long and won’t happen overnight.”

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Concerns were raised about speeding in Sun Street as far back as October 2016, during the initial one-way system trial, when street resident Jo Matthews and town councillor Peter Biernis called for traffic calming.

Mr Bhatnagar said he is grateful for the helpful response of North East Beds MP Alistair Burt and Biggleswade North councillors Steven Watkins and Jane Lawrence, to whom he first brought his concerns last summer – with Mr Watkins then asking the police to monitor the traffic.

Mr Watkins told the Comet on Tuesday that he would be pleased to pursue the matter.

“I would be very pleased, if he is still unhappy about this, to speak to him again and the police and arrange for some more regular monitoring via Speedwatch,” he said.

“We could also potentially look at a vehicle activated sign.

“By the way, I do not take the point about 10 vehicles travelling in the wrong direction lightly. Living just off of The Baulk, I am fully aware how dangerous it can be on a one-way street.”

Mr Burt’s office said he appreciated “that the ‘five per cent’ that behave badly are dangerous and frustrating for residents and shop owners”, and that he would raise the matter with councillors again.

A Bedfordshire Police spokeswoman said: “The report has been passed to the local councillor and Central Bedfordshire Highways with the recommendation to consider a long-term solution. The force has offered increased high-visibility speed checks by the local community policing team, supported by the local Speedwatch scheme, in order, to raise awareness of speed limit.”