Dispute over success of one-way system

Biggleswade town centre

Biggleswade town centre - Credit: Archant

Some Biggleswade residents and councillors have batted back the argument that a trial one-way system in the town centre is the best way to solve traffic problems.

In the September 29 edition of the Comet, we reported the views of the town’s deputy mayor Michael North and Central Bedfordshire Councillor for Biggleswade North, David Lawrence, that most people in the town seem to favour the trial of one way systems in Back Street, St John’s Street and the Baulk because they are helping ease traffic congestion in the town.

Long-term Biggleswade resident Jo Matthews who lives in Sun Street, which is included in the one-way system trial, hit back saying: “At no point since the beginning of the trial has the speed of traffic been monitored on Sun Street.

“I can categorically state that there is still a continuing problem of very high traffic speeds on Sun Street and that the phasing of the traffic lights is still, in my opinion, contributing to the problem.

“At a residents meeting last year we were promised that the scheme would not result in increased traffic volume or speed in the long run. We were also told that HGVs would be restricted and that the council had recommended a 20mph speed limit. None of this has happened.”=

Biggleswade town councillor Peter Biernis, added: “I have some very serious concerns about the speed of traffic using Sun Street. I have also raised issue with the crossing near the fish and chip shop. This crossing can be obscured at times when vehicles park close to it. It needs some traffic calming of some sort to slow traffic down. I am sure you are aware this a route used by many school children and parents going to St Andrews.”

Central Beds spokesman Jack Bowers, told the Comet last week: “The one-ways in the St Johns Street area, The Baulk, Back Street and Sun Street are operating as experimental traffic orders, which means that we need to see how they work over a trial period and then decide whether to make them permanent or remove them.

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“The trial monitoring will end in December 2016. We will be informing the council of how traffic flows and speeds have changed and also any local feedback on the scheme.”