Bypass anniversary: One year on – mixed views

PUBLISHED: 11:10 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:40 06 May 2010

THE first anniversary of the Baldock bypass takes place tomorrow (Friday). But feelings are mixed as to the effect it has had on the town. The £43m road was seen as the answer to the 22,000 vehicles clogging up the streets each day. It was long awaited an

THE first anniversary of the Baldock bypass takes place tomorrow (Friday). But feelings are mixed as to the effect it has had on the town.

The £43m road was seen as the answer to the 22,000 vehicles clogging up the streets each day. It was long awaited and celebrated.

But since the ribbon has been cut there have been complaints that it has affected business and some shops have since vacated the historic market town.

It is certainly a safe road so far, with only three slight accidents recorded between the opening and November 30.

And although councillors are aware of the various issues they agree it was ultimately beneficial.

Baldock councillor Ian Knighton said: "From a congestion and pollution perspective it can be nothing but a good thing.

"Some people are saying it has affected business but I don't think it has to the extent suggested."

Arbury councillor Andrew Young said: "On balance the bypass must surely be of greater benefit to the area.

"Once it has settled down and additional schemes are introduced to address the few problems it has created, I am sure everyone in the district will see the full benefits of it."

Baldock councillor Michael Muir said: "It's fantastic, the amount of traffic it's taken out of London Road, Whitehorse Street and Hitchin Street.

"We've got to have a further traffic count to see what's happening the year after the bypass has opened, as we need to know those figures for the regeneration and how to spend the money from the regeneration."

Baldock councillor Michael Weeks said: "It's got rid of the long delays in getting through Baldock, sometimes up to an hour, so it's good from that point of view.

"It's excellent as a road because you can't hear it or see it from any part of Baldock. It's been built really well.

"The detrimental side of it is the effect it's had on businesses in the town, especially the shops."

And Baldock East councillor Marilyn Kirkland concluded: "The dream of a bypass has become a reality.

"Now Baldock is developing a new identity, helped by its residents and the proposed town centre enhancement."

It seems pressure is now on the town centre regeneration to solve the issues that the bypass could not.


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