Is one-way system the best way to ease traffic in Biggleswade?

David Lawrence

David Lawrence - Credit: Archant

Residents and councillors in Biggleswade have called for a temporary one-way system which they say has eased the town’s traffic problems to be made permanent.

The one-way traffic flow was first put in place along congested Back Street, St John’s Street and The Baulk late last year, while Stratton Bridge was being repaired, but Central Beds council left it in place as a trial and consultation to see if people thought it improved congestion in the town.

As the trial approaches its end in December, people have dubbed it a success.

The town’s deputy mayor Michael North said: “Most people I’ve spoken to think it’s a good idea.

“Back Street is a very narrow road and it just eases the flow of traffic.”

Central Bedfordshire councillor for Biggleswade South, David Lawrence added: “It was an extended trial while construction work was taking place on the bridge, but everybody thinks it’s an improvement and hopes it stays.”

One resident who has lived in the town for more than 10 years but did not wish to be named, added: “I just think Back Street is a lot safer now because of the parked cars on one side of the street and because people tend to drive quite quickly around there and there is a blind bend. I think the one-way system helps to ease the flow.”

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Mr North said many in the town would also like to see further measures implemented at Hithcin Street to reverse the one-way system so the traffic flows into rather than out of town.

He said businesses feel it would benefit their trade.

Central Beds spokesman Jack Bowers said: “The one-ways in the St Johns Street area, The Baulk and Back 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.

“The trial monitoring will end in December 2016 at which point we will prepare a report for the next available Delegated Decisions Meeting. We will be informing the meeting of how traffic flows and speeds have changed and also any local feedback on the scheme.”

The one-way system has not always been seen in a positive light. When it was first put in place, town councillors expressed concern about increased speeds of traffic along the road and problems with the signage.

There were also questions over the timing of traffic lights. These problems seem to have eased since Stratton Bridge reopened in June.