Saturday, 28 July 2012

K-NINE J Needs Your Vote

Hello, My name is Luke Ankrah but I go by K-NINE J. I am 16 and I live in Houghton Regis and attend All Saints Academy Dunstable. I entered a Gospel talent and TV competition in London called 'Just Out of This World'.

I had to perform in front of a panel of judges and an audience. Lucky for me I was voted through to the semi-finals which are taking place in London today, Saturday 28th July 2012. To get through that round I have to be voted by the judges and the public. The winner of the competition gets a recording contract, a photo shoot and a website.

People will need to like 'Just Out of This World' on facebook and my info will come up. On the day people will have to watch the page that night as they will be told when voting lines are opened and closed, My performence will also be available for viewing on YouTube on the 6th August.

Luke's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/luke.ankrah1
Just Out of This World: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Out-Of-This-World/124288357919
"K-NINE J" on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/KnineCanadia/videos

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Public Exhibition Continues This Week...



http://www.hrn1.co.uk is the place to go to find out more information about proposals for turning land north of Houghton Regis into housing, playing fields, recreation and health centres, employment zones, suggested new roads.

There are two further days to go - Monday and Tuesday of the Public Exhibition in Bedford Square, Houghton Regis - from 10am until 4pm. There are plenty of staff from the land development consortium there to answer your questions, and a great chance for you to pop your suggestions into the suggestion boxes, and complete their surveys.

If you don't impress upon them now what you want to see in the development, don't be expecting them to read your mind. You have to be there to make yourself heard. http://www.hrn1.co.uk

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Public Exhibition: This Week


To be held at Bedford Square Community Centre, Tithe Farm Road, Houghton Regis.

Thursday & Friday 19/20th July 2pm to 8pm.
Saturday 21st 10am-4pm
Monday / Tuesday 23rd/24th 10am-4pm


The scheme will be bringing thousands of new homes, 3 new schools, new roads, and new neighbourhood names. Have Your Say.




Probably worth reading this text document about proposals local to us - http://goo.gl/mwqiB - if you will be unable to see the Public Exhibitions between 19th to 24th July.


This land (outlined in red) was identified as a sustainable location for growth in the Sustainable Communities Plan (2003). Following this plan the land was identified in the Luton and southern Central Bedfordshire Core Strategy, which was abandoned due to disagreements between CBC and Luton Borough Council. 
The land has been identified for up to 7,000 dwellings, 40 ha of employment land and associated facilities, all to be delivered through a masterplan. The masterplan, which will be led by the developer, will provide a "vision" and indicate the broad principles development should follow. The document will be used to inform the submission of a planning application and will not constitute the granting of planning permission. Planning applications are expected to start being submitted in the autumn of this year.


Two major transport improvements will assist growth in the area:
 (1) the A5-M1 link road to Junction 11a by the Highways Agency, and assisted funding by CBC and Developer. 
(2) The Woodside Connection to M1 J11a will be provided by the developer and CBC.


For (1) construction is likely to start in 2014; for (2) an expected start of 2017.

Take Pride & Have Fun !

Take ‘Pride In’ Houghton Regis

A call to Houghton Regis residents. Come and talk about local issues and get involved in the community as part of the ‘Pride in Houghton Regis’ event on Tuesday, 24 July from 10am to 4pm.




Get Fit and Have Fun: Download Activity Leaflet (requires Adobe Reader)





 



Monday, 16 July 2012

Police May Outsource Services


 Originally Posted by Alan Winter on June 2, 2012

Outsourcing to be Considered to Protect Frontline Policing Outsourcing of police support services in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire is being considered as part of continuing efforts to tackle the £73 million shortfall in police funding for the three counties.
Police Authority members in the three counties will be asked to consider later this month (June) how services including HR, finance and ICT could be outsourced in future as part of a joint recommendation made by the three chief constables.
The move comes as part of the on-going collaboration between Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary. 
A recommendation that a full business case should be developed to scrutinise thisproposal in more detail was discussed on Wednesday (May 30) by the Police Authorities Joint Collaboration Working Group.
As a result, it was agreed that each of the three Police Authorities will be asked in late June to consider formally the commissioning of a Full Business Case foroutsourcing support services through the existing Lincolnshire Policeframework, with G4S as the supplier.
If agreed by all three police authorities, the earliest that outsourced services could be in place would be April 2013.

Strange Car in the Street?


 Originally Posted by Alan Winter on June 2, 2012
Local Police are urging pople to be vigilant, and to report strange vehicles in their street.
DetectiveChief Inspector Steve Vesztrocy said: “One of the greatest tools that Bedfordshire Police has in fighting crime and protecting the public is the 550,000 pairs of eyes and ears that belong to the residents.
“As we continue with our attempt to lower auto burglaries I would ask for the publict o remain vigilant and not  to hesitate for a moment to report anything suspicious. Have you seen anyone paying particular attention to cars or housesin your road? Is there a car parked up that isn’t ordinarily in your street? Have you seen somebody driving a car that isn’t theirs? If so, let us know.”
If you have information relating to burglaries, vehicle theft or have spotted an abandoned vehicle in your street, contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on the non emergency number101, or text information to 07786 200011.
Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

£4.9m Funding for Local Travel Schemes


 Originally Posted by Alan Winter on June 2, 2012 

£4.9 million for a transport bid has been won by Central Bedfordshire Council to help regenerate Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard. The "South Central Bedfordshire Smarter Routes to Employment" programme  aims to cut carbon emissions while promoting economic growth.
The announcement was made recently by Norman Baker, MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (LibDem)  who announced government backing worth a total of £113 million for 30 local transport projects.
CBC aim to use the funding to increase travel choices for residents and businesses, thereby reducing car use in town centres, and cutting personal travel costs. Typically this will  help to tackle congestion by improving links between where people live and work, and by promoting walking, cycling, lift sharing, train, bus use and alternatives to travel. A wide variety of people backed the bid by CBC, including local authorities, schools, community groups, voluntary organisations, public transport operators and members of the business community.
Cllr Alan Winter. Highways representative Houghton Regis Town Council, said, "This funding will be spread over three years so we don't yet know what schemes will be implemented for the town. But we did discuss ideas with the officers putting the bid together. Typical of the suggestions put forward was to realign the pelican crossing at the top of Poynters Road so that it aligned to the footpath into the Industrial Estate. And to improve the cycle path and pedestrian routing across Park Road North near to Sandringham Drive."

Positive Progress at Houghton Regis Leisure Centre


 Originally Posted by Alan Winter on May 5, 2012

On  Wednesday,  this  week,  the  Leisure  Centre  held  its  first  customer  forum  under  the  new  management  team  from  Stevenage  Leisure  (SL). And all the signs are for a positive future for the centre.

The  aim  of  the  forum  is  for  the  audience  to  be  a  critical  friend  for  the  Centre,  to  be  a  voice  for  all  the  different  kinds  of  sports  that  are  run  there,  and  are  hoped  to  be  run  there.

The  Leisure  Centre  reopened  on  April  16th  this  year  after  a  refurbishment  with  capital  from  Central  Bedfordshire  Council.  A  lick  of  paint  has  worked  wonders  on  its  own,  and  the  added  new  equipment  of  a  66  station  gym  NEW  GYM  MATS  and  SPINNING  studio  is  already  drawing  in  plenty  of  new  clientel.  And  at  £17.99  per  month  for  unlimited  gym  with  no  joining  fees,  free  car  parking,  badminton  and  squash,  it's  no  wonder.  And  the  added  bonus  is  that  at  present  new  people  can  currently  get  gym  induction  (4  sessions  training  you  how  to  use  the  equipment)  for  FREE,  whereas  elsewhere  you  could  easily  expect  to  pay  £50  for  that  alone.
 
The Chair and Vice Chair of the Action Group trying out the new gym

Right.  That's  the  advert  over.  What  did  people  ask  about  at  the  forum?

Inevitably,  several  people  raised  the  question  of  the  swimming  pool,  but  for  the  present  management  team,  their  contract  is  just  to  run  the  dry  side  of  the  sports  centre  until  31st  March  2013.  Obviously,  they  are  looking  to  make  a  success  of  the  operation  in  order  to  be  considered  for  further  contracts  to  run  the  place  beyond  that  time.  In  the  meantime,  reopening  the  attached  empty  swimming  pool  will  remain  the  end  goal  for  the  action  group  by  encouraging  higher  use  of  all  the  facilities  there,  according  to  Mr  Hallam,  the  vice-chairman  of  HRLCAG.  

Until  the  Centre  is  viable,  CBC  won't  look  at  putting  cash  into  the  swimming  pool.  Adrian  Lear,  Leisure  Management  Contracts  Officer  at  Central  Bedfordshire  Council  threw  down  a  challenge  to  the  meeting,  "Give  me  1500  users  of  the  gym  and  they'll  have  to  look  at  the  swimming  pool!"

STAFF  AND  MANAGEMENT:  Currently  the  staff  are  working  very  hard  to  make  the  place  a  success,  some  offering  extra  hours  beyond  their  shifts  because  they  know  the  place  is  busy.  Recruitment  is  to  take  place  over  the  next  few  weeks  for  people  to  lead  various  sessions.  Already  plenty  of  interest  from  people  working  elsewhere  who  would  like  to  work  in  Houghton  Regis.  A  three  month  activity  timetable  has  been  set  up  to  deal  with  health  and  safety  issues,  marketing,  customer  care,  staff  training.  Programmes  will  generally  be  looked  at  every  6  months  to  see  what  activities  are  working,  and  which  are  not.  

KEY  CARDS:  There  are  no  plans  for  key  cards  at  the  moment.  They  are  looking  at  Active  Key.

FITNESS  CLASSES:  These  will  be  developing.  More  slots  have  been  identified  and  need  to  be  advertised.  With  more  staff  fitness  programmes  can  be  worked  on.

ZUMBA:  Needs  more  space,  and  they  have  some  school  hall  space  to  use.

YOGA:  More  difficult  to  get  instructors.  Depends  on  their  availability.

PILATES:  being  done,  but  some  concern  at  the  small  size  of  the  present  room  (only  holds  8  people).

AGE  RELATED:  SL  are  not  keen  to  promote  age  related  activities,  preferring  to  be  more  inclusive.

LADIES  GYM  NIGHT?  Probably  not;  to  exclude  some  people  could  have  a  negative  effect.  SL  want  to  be  friendly  towards  everyone.

PROVISION  OF  A  BIKE  RACK:  To  be  looked  into.

CAR  BOOT  IN  THE  HALL?:  Needs  availability,  and  the  Centre  is  getting  booked  up  rapidly.

TEA  DANCE?  It's  in  the  mix!

PROMOTION:  Will  be  up  to  availability  of  staff;  plan  to  be  at  the  Carnival;  and  to  promote  to  schools/  colleges.

BADMINTON:  Lighting  may  be  an  issue.

TENNIS:  Short  tennis  could  be  offered,  it  depends  on  what  people  request  on  the  cards  available  at  the  refurbished  reception  area.

BOXING:  Squash  courts  are  too  small,  and  currently  no  space  elsewhere  for  it  on  Wednesdays.

MEMBERSHIP:  Currently  it  is  "open  access";  SL  have  no  plans  at  present  for  "family"  or  "junior"  membership  rates.

CHILDRENS  PROGRAMME:  Being  built  up  as  people  ask  for  it.  Nothing  yet  allocated  for  mini-gym.  SL  cannot  run  an  OFSTED  play  scheme  this  summer.

TRAMPOLINING:  starting  this  month.

COMMENTS:  Comment  cards,  and  a  comment  book  are  at  the  reception  area.

DISCLAIMER: This  write  up  is  provided  from  my  own  notes  at  the  meeting.  It  does  not  represent  or  seek  to  misrepresent  anyone  or  any  organisation.  If  there  is  an  error  in  something  written  above,  please  let  me  know  so  that  I  can  correct  it.  The  official  minutes  of  the  meeting  were  to  be  posted  by  SL  in  the  reception  area

FURTHER  CONTACTS:

The  Next  Meeting  of  HRLCAG  is  on Wednesday  9th  May  2012
at  7.15  at  St  Vincent’s  Social  Club,  Hammersmith  Gardens
To  support  the  Action  Group  contact  HRLCAG@houghtonregis.org.uk
E‐mail  support  provided  by  the  Town  Council.

SPORTS CENTRE
Tel:  01582  866  141  or  email:  enquiries.houghton@stevenage‐leisure.co.uk

NEW MARKET STALL FOR BEDFORD SQUARE

Originally Posted by Alan Winter on May 4, 2012
Houghton Regis Town Council and the Town Centre Management Committee is pleased to announce the arrival of a new stall for Bedford Square 
Joining our regular Fresh Fruit & Veg Stall will be SIMI & LOLA, Specialising in Fashion Jewellery, Accessories, Handbags, Fragrances & Gifts
Visit Bedford Square from 9am - 3.30pm
See the range of goods on sale and experience the benefits that shopping locally can bring.Free parking available in the Co-op Car Park and Tithe Farm Road. Up to three hours free in Bedford Square Car Park

Children Sing

The Grove Theatre, Dunstable this summer will be one of the venues where local children from lower schools will be singing.  This is part of a special singing programme working with skilled animateurs. 

Highlights will include “We Are the Champions” and “Just like a Roman.” 

For many of the children, aged between seven and nine years old, it will be their first public performance to a large audience at a professional concert venue. Inspiring Music, the music service for Central Bedfordshire, say that research shows that singing can help improve learning and behaviour as well as build musical foundations. 

Singing builds confidence, develops their pitch and range, and encourgaes children to express themselves musically. Memorising  lyrics is a useful skill, as is working as a team, listening to others,appreciating mood, dynamics, timbre and tone.  Fundamentally this helps them to become a musician.  

“Our vocal programme is now in its fourth year and we have seen some outstanding examples in schools with positive effects on self confidence, concentration and self esteem. Many head teachers testify to its beneficial effect; it gives shy children a means of expression and is also really good fun,” said Councillor Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Children's Services at Central Bedfordshire Council. 

Chris Jones, Head of Inspiring Music said,  “We want to help people participate and enjoy making music, whether with the voice or another instrument.  There are plenty of opportunities available. The nearest Celebration Concert will take place at The Grove Theatre, Dunstable:  11 June, 12 June and 13 June at 6pm. Tickets £5/ £3 concessions: Call the box office:  01582 60 20 80 

News Round w/e16th June 2012


 Originally Posted by Alan Winter on June 16, 2012 

Dog Show in Houghton Regis Saturday, 16th June

Fractured Eye Socket

Police Witness Appeal. A man was assaulted in Dolphin Square on Tuesday evening and suffered injuries to his eye socket and nose as well as other cuts and bruises.
Bedfordshire Police arrested four males in connection with this incident and all have been released on bail pending further enquiries.
If you have information relating to this incident, contact DC Long, in confidence, on 01582 473286, the non-emergency number 101, or text information to 07786 200011.
Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.orgRead More on this story ...

Dunstable North Railway Station

This station started life situated in Houghton Regis back in 1848 - know your history, have a look at the Houghton Regis Time Line


Follow this story on Facebook

Daylight Robbery At Education Centre

On Thursday 14th of June, between 12:55 and 1:05 p.m. an offender has entered the Education Centre in Parkside Drive, Houghton Regis, using a communal door, and taken away two water storage tanks and some scrap metal. The offenders were seen loading the stolen property into a White Transit style van. The first offender was male, 6 foot in height, with balding hair. He wore a grey zip up jumper.The second offender was male, 5 foot 9, with black hair. He wore a red shirt and blue jeans.
Crime Reference: J D / 2 0 7 2 5 / 2012.
Call Police: 101
Call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or online at http://wwwcrimestoppers-uk.org/

Head Lice

Have you checked your child for Head Lice? A local school is urging all parents to treat their child this weekend to help curb a major problem. They're advising, "it has been found that hair conditioners, applied thickly, left on for 10 minutes and then combed through with a ‘nit’ comb, works as well as most branded products."

Water Watch

Veolia say its still a drought Veolia Thames say hosepipe ban is lifted Thames Water Anglian Water Lift hosepipe ban from midnight 15th June Anglian Water

National Carers Week from 18th June

The Carers in Bedfordshire Carers Summer Fete 2012 is taking place on Sunday 24 June from 1pm – 5pm at Moggerhanger Park, MK44 3RW, featuring a live choir, refreshments, a raffle, stalls, pampering, face painting, a car wash, a bouncy castle and lots more fun entertainment. The event is free and all carers, their cared for and anyone who fancies an afternoon out, are welcome.Location Link

Recycling

Central Beds Council are behind a number of brand new ‘on-the-go’ recycling bins at prime locations across Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard town centres.

News Brief

BAPTIST CHURCH: Ordination June 23rd
AUTISM: Draft Autism strategy for Central Bedfordshire. What do you think? Have Your Say
Have your say on the changes to the Minerals and Waste Core Strategy Plan Have Your Say
Read the latest edition of News Central online now News Link
On Thursday 21st June, 8pm, Houghton Regis Baptist Church will celebrate its roots by holding an open air service at Thorn Burial ground.
Driver cut free from collision in Toddington. Witness appeal. News Link
Can a council legally issue Penalty Charge Notices? News Link
Andrew Selous, MP, on improving outcomes for orthopaedic patients News Link
20th June to 8th August Public Consultation on Development Strategy for Central Beds News Link
Poynters Rd to be closed 8am 30 June to 6pm 1 July for resurfacing.
7th July - various Houghton Regis roads will be closed for Carnival procession.

Chalk Pit

"Two turtle doves calling at Houghton Regis Chalk Pit this morning." (Thursday)
Best Wishes, Rebecca Pitman, Houghton Regis Chalk Pit, BCN Wildlife Trust

M1 Motorway

The Highways Agency is keen to point out that on the M1 between Junction 10 (Luton-South) and Junction 11 (Luton/Dunstable), the hard shoulder is not available as yet for use as a traffic lane, so drivers can only use it in an emergency situation.
Motorists are able to use the newly built emergency refuge areas (large lay-bys) which have orange roadside telephones installed in them.
The majority of the rolling road closures on the M1 Junctions 10-13 are required for the installation of new gantries which span both the Northbound and Southbound carriageways. The installation of gantries is currently programmed for Wednesday to Saturday nights when traffic flows are lower in order to minimise delays to the travelling public.

Area 1 Development in Houghton Regis Phone Consultation On the Way

You could be phoned soon to be asked for your opinions about proposals for new developments around the existing built up area of Houghton Regis, so don't hang up in a hurry!
The Houghton Regis Development Consortium (a joint venture partnership between AXA Real Estate and Lands Improvement), the promoters of Houghton Regis North site 1, are intending to conduct a phone survey of 5,000 residents from Houghton Regis and its surrounding towns and parishes.
The survey would be used to provide qualitative and quantitative evidence to shape and support the masterplan. The scheduled dates are 21st June to 8th July.
Then between 21st and 23rd June: a small number of door to door surveys will take place with residents to ask for their sentiment feelings in neighbourhoods in close proximity to the proposal site.
From July through to the autumn a series of private and public exhibitions and communications will take place.

Waste Depot Could Be in Houghton Regis

The Core Strategy identifies four sites for large scale non-landfill waste management operations, and sets out Core Policies concerning locations for non-strategic waste uses. The four strategic sites for waste management operations are: Land at Elstow north; Land at former Brogborough Landfill; Land at Rookery Pit South; Land at Thorn Turn.
Have your say on the changes to the Minerals and Waste Core Strategy Plan Have Your Say

Houghton Regis Man Absconds From Prison

A man from Houghton Regis who was serving a sentence for robbery after being jailed in 2007 has absconded from prison. He was one of two who went missing on Sunday, June 2.More on this story ...

Luton Festival Prices Slashed

The ticket price for a Love Luton Festival has been slashed to £15 for the weekend. Opposition leader Martin Pantling tweeted "The concerts were a Labour decision with Council money attached, yet they're in hiding!" He later spoke on BBC3CR saying he hoped the festival would be a success, but he added that the ruling Labour Group needed to come forward to explain what had gone wrong.
Correspondents on our Facebook Page commented that the Houghton Regis Carnival would be on on the same day, and that would be more fun.
Book Tickets for Luton Music Festival.

That is the end of this week's report. If you liked this report, why not follow us on Facebook, and get the news almost as it happens Houghton Regis News Desk on Facebook

News Round w/e 23rd June

 Originally Posted by Alan Winter on June 24, 2012 



On Monday of this week I chaired a Grants Committee of the Town Council. Awards were given to Houghton Regis Brass Band to help fund instruments, and to Recycled Teenagers to help fund an outing to the seaside. This week the development consortium put on several "talking shops" for invited guests to discuss the development of field sites around Houghton Regis. On Saturday I attended, the final workshop Plenty of experts in their own spheres were on hand to listen, contribute, and help develop ideas and suggestions. I found it quite refreshing to hear the opinions of the other invited guests, too. A full public consultation is due to take place for several days in the town from 20th July.
In other news, travellers broke a lock on a gate to Tithe Farm Recreation ground on Wednesday, and set up 10 caravans. They were gone the next day, but not without creating a lot of comments on the FB page. There may have been more comments trying to get on News Desk, but didn't as a moderation checklist has long been in place. Even so, one expletive did creep through. Sorry if you were offended, but the mod-list was later updated.

On the Roads

We're in for a bit of chaos on the roads. This week notices went up in Houghton Regis High Street for the start of a road works scheme to improve Houghton Regis High Street, removing the traffic lights, and other bits and pieces. Works are being paid for as part of the Morrison’s store development.
Meanwhile, those visiting Dunstable will find a one way system in place during works to start around Asda as part of a Court Drive improvement scheme.
As if that wasn't enough Hatters Way is closed this weekend (22/25th June) for Busway works.
And the bridge over the 
M1 at Toddington is coming down on the 30th June which will mean a 16 hour closure of the motorway; although Houghton Regis is officially not being included as a diversion route, we will end up with a lot of traffic overnight and next Sunday.

Traffic Lights

I protested to various powers that be about the installation of temporary Traffic lights in Houghton Road/Millers Way this weekend. I am sure traffic could have managed itself for a couple of days. Visit for better traffic management ideas

Library

Houghton Regis library is closed for two weeks from 25 June to install new self-service technology. It will reopen on Monday, 9 July.

Unemployment

The number of people out of work in the East has risen to 219,000 - 2,000 more than the previous quarter but it's against the national trend.
The unemployment rate in the region is 6.8%, well below the average of 8.2% for the whole country.

Crims Targeted on Buses

Bedfordshire Police Launch Bus Campaign to Help Cut Crime More...

Footpaths

An order extending the closure of a footpath running between Millers Way and a point opposite Frenchs Avenue is to be extended until 18th December during building works. This path, and several other paths in Houghton Regis, are to be targeted by the Community payback scheme. This will include the path behind Woodlands Avenue, following escalation by local Lib Dem councillors requesting attention after complaints from residents.

Micro-Enterprise

Central Bedfordshire Council is hosting a workshop on Micro enterprises on July 24th at Flitwick Village Hall from 10.00am to 1.45pm More...

Claim Your Free School Meals

According to Central Beds Council, over 3,500 children are currently getting free school meals, but they say that lots more could qualify.. With the emphasis on children eating a healthy, nutritious and tasty meal, the council wants to encourage more claimants.
Finding out if you could claim free school meals for your child couldn’t be easier. Call Central Beds dedicated team on 0300 300 8306. When you call, please have the following information ready: national insurance numbers and dates of birth of you and your partner, dates of birth for your children, and if you receive support from the National Asylum Support Service, your NASS number.

School Term Dates

Summer Fun

The Town Council in association with The Way:
Book Summer Places now ... Jan Cooper 01582 708540
TUESDAYS - £5 for a day
9.30am - 3.30pm
Childrens Links - Physical Activities

WEDNESDAYS - £10 for a day
9.30am - 3.30pm
8th August 2012 - Trip to The Park
15th August 2012 - Trip to The Farm
22nd August 2012 - Trip to The Museum
29th August 2012 - Trip to Adventure Park

THURSDAYS - Play Team £5 for a day
9.30am - 3.30pm
Arts and Crafts

LIMITED PLACES
BOOK NOW!!
Jan Cooper 01582 708540

Crime Levels Down

Report

All Saints in the High Street, 22nd June 2012. © A D Winter.

Busway Update in Central Beds Area

 Originally Posted by Alan Winter on June 30, 2012 

Edited from information supplied by Dave Buck, Transport Strategy, Central Bedfordshire Council

Station Road, Dunstable
Closed between 10 and 27 July for drainage, kerbing, road widening, stats and surfacing works.  The contractor is currently requesting an extension to this period due to amount of work required.  
Residents on Station Road and surrounding area have received leaflets from BAM advising about the works. Gate-men will be at either end of Station Road preventing through access; residents will be permitted access from the top (Great Northern Road end) to their drives etc - works are mainly on the Bellway side so access to drives maintained.

Local diversion route is using Priory Road / Richard Street.

Church Street, Dunstable
Closed in the Bridge area for the weekends (both Saturday and Sunday) between 28 July and 19 August.  This will linclude Church Street / Station Road junction.  The contractor is suggesting there may be a weeks slippage extending the weekend closures to 24 August. 

General update
Works on the main Busway are still programmed to finish towards the end of this year (December for construction and March/April for opening) although the wet weather is starting to impact on the works programme and in particular the labour intensive pad and beam laying operations.
Early Ride
The first section of the Busway to be completed will be Blackburn Road to Church Street. This will be used to prove / test the system and start the bus driver training. There will be opportunities for a ride on the bus during this phase. Expectations are that this will start September time with driver training continuing through to March/April 2013.

Ponies at the Paddocks / Blows Down
Arrangements will be made shortly for the removal of the ponies at the Paddocks / Blows Down.  The whole area has been handed over to the Wild Life Trust with a 60 year management agreement/plan to promote & improve its SSSI status. This management plan includes for legal grazing of animals from time to time. Apparently ponies are not that appropriate for certain wild flowers and grasses. 

Dog Kennel footpath
The new bridge looks rather a mess with the temporary fencing strapped to it.  There was a report of youths partying on top of the safety cage a few weekends ago necessitating the contractor to take preventative measures.  We are now looking at a fan type arrangement at each end to prevent future occurrences.  The bridge is still in the contractors control so the recent graffiti and damage will be corrected by them before handover.

Artwork
A small amount of S106 funding has been found to provide a little artwork along the Busway.  The artist, Pete Moorhouse has been developing designs with local schools and the college. This will be on display Tuesday 10 July at the following venues with an exhibition of approx 10 draft designs for local residents and others to discuss and feedback upon.
    Houghton Regis Library 10am-12noon
    Dunstable Library          2.30am-4.30pm
Four of the most popular of these designs are expected to be used for the artwork on the guided busway -within CBC.
Court Drive
Works started on site 25/06/2012 with one-way working for traffic along Court Drive towards the A5; works are expected to continue until late September.
Contractors for the Busway and Court Drive are working together to try and minimise these traffic impacts but the weekend closures of Church Street will be difficult for all involved. Discussions are ongoing to try and find alternative ways of construction to ease disruption.
On street bus stop upgrades
Works started 25/06/2012 involving kerb works to provide level boarding, tactile feedback, replacement shelters as appropriate and real time passenger information for approximately 90 stops in Dunstable and Houghton Regis, works will continue to late March 2013.
Downside - junction, parking restrictions and other minor road improvement to get Busway size buses through (12m long). Works starting late August to late November.

CONTACT
Should you have any enquiries that you feel need to be addressed contact Dave Buck, Transport Strategy,  Central Bedfordshire Council, Sustainable Communities Directorate, Technology House, 239 Ampthill Road, Bedford MK42 9BD

Direct dial: 0300 300 6198  | Internal: 76198  |  Email: dave.buck@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Olympic Torch - 9th July - Road Closures


 Originally Posted by Alan Winter on July 2, 2012


More traffic than normal will be coming through Houghton Regis early on the morning of Monday July 9th. Be prepared if you normally leave early.
Here are the arrangements for Dunstable High Street to welcome the Olympic Flame on Monday 9 July. 
6:30AM Get to Dunstable by about 6.30am to avoid disappointment. Walk or Cycle as roads will be severely congested.
6:45AM High Street North will be fully closed from the centre of Dunstable to Brewers Hill Road.
7AM- 8AM M1 Motorway Junction 11 Sliproads. The M1 northbound exit slip road and the M1 southbound exit sliproad at Junction 11 will be closed for a short time to coincide with the relay.
7:00AM Brewers Hill Road and will have a partial closure up to French's Avenue. Luton Road (A505) will be closed from 7.00am.
On the A5 southbound there will be no access to Dunstable from A505 Chalk Hill roundabout. On the A5 northbound there will be no access to Dunstable from the B4550 Kensworth turn.
7:00AM Lloyds TSB, one of the official sponsors, will have early morning activities and entertainment in High Street North before the Torch Relay.
7:30AM  Torchbearers will carry the Flame along Luton Road, entering Dunstable at the Skimpot Road roundabout just before 7.30am. It will then be run along Luton Road and turn right onto High Street North.
The A505 at Tesco will be temporarily closed at 7am to allow traffic to escape the area, thus allowing a clear torch route.  Once the torch arrives heading toward Dunstable at 7.29am  a rolling road block will operate approx 100m behind the torch convoy to allow traffic to move at a clear distance and safe speed behind the procession in a westerly direction. 
7.30AM Dunstable to Luton Travel toward Luton (east bound) will run as normal and allow traffic to exit the area and Dunstable, but may be much slower than normal.  If crowds on, and around, the A505 are not manageable and it becomes unsafe for spectators, a decision may be made to close the entire A505 on the grounds of safety.

8:05AM The Torch will leave Dunstable just after 8.05am at the junction with French's Avenue where it will join a vehicle convoy heading for its next stop at Milton Keynes. 
Roads will be reopened to traffic as soon it's safe to do so. 
Buses will not be running to Dunstable as usual between 6.30 and whenever the A5 is reopened. From 6.30 onwards the bus will leave Bedord Square and travel via East End, Park Road North, Portz Avenue, and then terminate at Sainsbury's. The return route will be the reverse of this. Arriva will attempt to get their buses back on schedule as soon as they can, but this will all depend on how the rest of the traffic behaves.
Free Parking There will be free parking in all council-run Dunstable car parks until 10am on 9 July.   Drivers are being advised to expect severe traffic congestion and to avoid travel in and around Dunstable from 6.45am to 9am where possible. Delays are likely throughout the morning while traffic clears so people should allow extra time for journeys throughout the area. 
Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, Cllr James Jamieson says, "We are looking forward to welcoming the Torch and our inspirational Torchbearers to Dunstable. We want this to be a safe and enjoyable event for everyone and I hope that residents who can conveniently get to Dunstable will line the streets to join us for this once-in-lifetime opportunity.   The whole Torch Relay route will be closed to traffic in advance of the event."
More Info There is more advice for residents and businesses on the council's websitehttp://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/olympics
To access the latest information and announcements follow the council @letstalkcentral and follow the hashtags #OlympicTorch or #London2012TorchRelay.  
About Our Local Runners
Kieran Jays Carrying the Flame through: Luton Carrying the Flame on: 09 July 2012 Age: 12 Hometown: Houghton Regis 
Ben Jell Carrying the Flame through: Luton - Carrying the Flame on: 09 July 2012 Age: 34 Hometown: Dunstable
Jacqueline Dowsing Carrying the Flame through: Luton - Carrying the Flame on: 09 July 2012 Age: 47 Hometown: Dunstable
Katrina Blunt Carrying the Flame through: Dunstable Carrying the Flame on: 09 July 2012 Age: 33 Hometown: Pitstone
Matt King Carrying the Flame through: Dunstable Carrying the Flame on: 09 July 2012 Age: 25 Hometown: Bedfordshire
Penny Green Carrying the Flame through: Dunstable Carrying the Flame on: 09 July 2012 Age: 51 Hometown: Dunstable
Samantha Griffiths Carrying the Flame through: Dunstable Carrying the Flame on: 09 July 2012 Age: 45 Hometown: Watford
Sasha Harvey Carrying the Flame through: Dunstable Carrying the Flame on: 09 July 2012 Age: 39 Hometown: Abingdon