Roadworks return to Biggleswade sending drivers on 7km detour via the A1

The diversion in place at Shortmead Street in Biggleswade.

The diversion in place at Shortmead Street in Biggleswade. - Credit: Archant

Biggleswade was blighted with more traffic restrictions this week as a major road closure led to drivers having to follow a four-mile diversion around the town centre.

Shortmead Street is closed for utilities roadworks – and a major diversion route has been put in place which means drivers must avoid leaving the A1 at the Sainsbury’s roundabout and travel further south, coming off at the Stratton Business Park roundabout, to access the town centre.

The diversion – which takes 10 minutes to drive round – is set to remain in place until February 18.

The roadworks are to create a new road junction, sewer and gas, electric, water and telecoms connection for a care home which is being built in the street by developers McCarthy & Stone.

Gareth Hughes, Streetworks manager for Central Bedfordshire Council, said the time for the works had been kept to a minimum of 15 days by getting all the different utilities companies to work at the same time.

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But it follows last year’s much-maligned closure of Stratton Street Bridge, when repairs were made to the town centre railway bridge and cars were diverted around a temporary one-way system – some of which is still in place.

Biggleswade town councillor Madeline Russell said that while the roadworks will undoubtedly cause disruption, they are very necessary.

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She said: “It’s very unfortunate but if that site is to be developed it needs to be done.

“That road is very old – it’s the old A1 so I suspect the utilities really do need updating. The town centre is very empty and this won’t do anything to help trade, but the fact it is does need to be done.”

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