Apology: Update on Road Works in Houghton Regis

Central Bedfordshire Council  PR 1302    20/11/2012    [For Immediate Release]

Update on road works in Houghton Regis

Central Bedfordshire Council’s investment in the roads of Houghton Regis is nearing the end of phase one, with main works stopping until the New Year. The short-term works, designed to improvement traffic flow, will bring about long-term improvements to an area that often becomes congested.

The improvement works have included introducing a roundabout at the junction of Bedford Road and High Street, where there previously were traffic signals and improving kerbs, footpaths, draining and lighting.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services said: “Road works can be disruptive, but we are investing in Houghton Regis for long-term improvements. The works are designed to drastically improve travel in the area, but we do understand that the disruption is frustrating and that there have been initial problems due to traffic management systems - associated with developer works - which have caused heavy congestion. This was made worse by a high voltage fault which was out of our control and dealt with as an emergency by UK Power Networks.”

“Following on from these emergency works there will be further overnight works by UK Power Networks on Wednesday 21 November to finish off these emergency repairs. Three-way traffic signals will be in place at this time but we are sorry if this causes delays to people travelling through at that time.”

The road works have been phased to minimise disruption to local residents, businesses and road users. The new road layout should enable a smoother flow of traffic in the future.

In the next phase of works, there will be raised tables added to the junctions of Tithe Farm Road and High Street, High Street and Bedford Road, Cemetery Road and High Street and the new entrance to Morrisons. This will require periods of three way and two way traffics lights as well as some overnight closures, which the council will announce as soon as possible in advance.  The remaining works are likely to take approximately another four to six weeks once they restart.

Streetlights will also be updated or added at the end of the scheme, which should not cause too much disruption.

He added: “We also know that people are concerned about the proximity of an existing zebra crossing to the new roundabout and we’re very sorry to hear of an incident there recently. Zebra crossings are introduced along ‘desire lines’ for pedestrians which is why it is currently there.

“We would like to reassure road users and pedestrians that full initial safety audits have already taken place and further safety checks will follow shortly. The new raised table at the junction should really help improve safety there as it will slow drivers down and make them more aware of the crossing.”

Cllr Spurr concluded: “We have committed to doing all we can to help ease the traffic situation and we believe that the new roundabout and other improvements will help in the long-term. However we know that while road works are happening, the disruption can be very frustrating for road users and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. We’re doing all that we can to alleviate congestion.”