Monday, 16 July 2012

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