Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New Plans for £150m redevelopment of L&D Hospital

At a meeting in Houghton Regis this afternoon, plans were unveiled for a £150m redevelopment of the Luton & Dunstable University Hospital.

The whole site will look and feel different for everyone. There are elements of enabling work, such as the design of a new one stop urology service in the old linen room. Some major expansion and refurbishment, such as the Emergency Department. Also planned is some new build. Among the first things to happen would be the building of a new office block to enable staff to move out of one area so that another area can be redeveloped. A new building will be erected across 5 floors to support acute services.

Envisaged are a 
Ground Floor offering a delivery suite and triage to support a 7,000 birth site.
First floor - Neonatal Unit to support up to 46 babies who require life saving care and treatment.
Second Floor - Critical care to support 30 patients who require life saving monitoring and intervention
Third Floor - Support Flow housing a new clean room suite, surgical arrivals and second stage recovery for 40 patients.
Fourth Floor - Theatres to support 9 new operating theatres, replacing A-D and the Vanguard, and allowing for growth in surgical activity.

A new entrance would be created in Lewsey Road, away from the Emergency Department, by demolishing a pre-existing building. Car parking would be improved facing Dunstable Road, and disabled spaces would be improved and scattered around the present car parks.

Between now and the end of July, the Redevelopment team are working hard to build the Outline Business Case for the regulators who are responsible for approving the redevelopment of the hospital site.

If the redevelopment goes ahead, it may be 4 to 5 years from now before it is completed.

DOWNLOAD LEAFLET that was handed out at today's meeting.

Questions on the redevelopment can be sent to Tel 01582 49 8815

Nepal - Disasters Emergency Committee - Appeal for Funds

The DEC has launched an appeal for the people affected by the Nepal earthquake.

At 11.41am local time on 25th April 2015 a massive earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck in Nepal. As it ripped through large parts of Nepal, it toppled office blocks and towers in Kathmandu and triggered a deadly avalanche that hit Everest base camp.

Over 5,000 people have been reported dead, and numbers are rising, making it the worst earthquake in the country in more than 80 years.

Tanya Barron, Trustee of the DEC, just sent me this message from outside Kathmandu:

"This is just awful. There are thousands and thousands out in the streets and fields with nowhere to go. Our immediate priority is to support children's most basic needs - shelter, water, health care and essential child protection."

DEC member agencies are already on the ground, and we urgently need your help to reach as many affected people as possible.

Please DONATE NOW. The situation is critical and the people of Nepal need your help now. Help provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food and shelter to those who have been affected by this devastating earthquake.

Here's what your donation will provide:

£25 can provide clean water for four families for 1 month
£50 can feed a family for two weeks
£100 can provide emergency shelter for five families
The Nepalese Government has declared a state of emergency in the affected area and called for international humanitarian assistance. It’s a race against time – please donate now and help save lives.

Your donation today, right now, could help us get vital supplies to the most vulnerable children and families.

Thank you,

Saleh Saeed OBE,
DEC Chief Executive

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Looking for former Vauxhall workers from the 1960s

"Can you help? I’m based at the Education Faculty at Cambridge University researching the educational experiences of former Luton Vauxhall workers and their families. My research is looking at how educational experience has changed across generations of the same family. The research is related to an older study with Luton Vauxhall workers in the 1960s called the Affluent Worker.

If you are interested in taking part in the research, which will involve one to one interviews to discuss your and your children's experience of school, please contact Lucy Howson on 07740 425494

MAY 1st - "Just Ask" to visit Houghton Regis To Give Out Information

The Central Bedfordshire Council Just Ask team will be in Houghton Regis on Friday, 1 May, to provide residents with help and guidance about social care, health and housing issues.

Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire is hosting this year’s events in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council, Aragon Housing and their residents group ROAR, plus members of the Older People's Reference Group.

Based on the RAVE bus (Rural Area Vehicle for Education) a mobile educational outreach resource, the Just Ask project is all about taking advice and support to the heart of local communities.

The team will be at Morrison’s car park from 9am to 1.30pm. During the first event in Biggleswade, following the eclipse, the sun shone and 127 people visited the bus to receive information and advice about health, social care and housing.

Julie Ogley Director of Social Care, Health and Housing at the council, said: “It is a great opportunity to take advantage of where you will be able to receive valuable information and advice on health and social care services and support available in Central Bedfordshire. The RAVE bus will park in a prominent location, allowing people to visit the bus while they are out doing their shopping.

“Several community and voluntary organisations will be joining the team on the day to answer questions and provide more information about the kind of services they offer all working together to engage with the community and promote wellbeing.”

Compost Awareness Week Starts May 4th - Order Your Bins Now!

The local council wants to encourage more people to compost their household waste.

They are suggesting that more than a third of your household waste can be composted, leaving more space in your black bin. 

Composted material helps to recycle the nutrients that make plants grow. It feeds the worms that keep soil healthy, and is very low cost to do. 

With national Compost Awareness Week taking place on 4-10 May, now is the perfect time to get started.

Through the council, Central Bedfordshire residents can buy home compost bins at a subsidised price of £13 for a 220-litre bin or £15 for a 330-litre bin.

Ian McMurdy, Waste Awareness Officer for Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “More than a third of household waste is made up of organic material that can be composted at home. Grass cuttings, fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags and even egg shells are all ideal for composting. 

“Recycling this waste in your home compost bin will not only help break it down in an environmentally friendly way but reduce the amount of waste in your black bin and help you reap the benefit of great quality, free compost for your garden.”

For more information about compost bins, including a buy one, get one half price offer, call 0844 571 4444 and quote reference CBC10L. Alternatively order your home compost bin and accessories at

For more advice and information about home composting, visit

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Arriva Bus Services From April 13th 2015

From the 13th April 2015.

As a result of an extensive project into the bus network across Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis Arriva made changes to bus services across the conurbation in April.

A summary of the Arriva changes which affect Houghton Regis are listed below.

Route 38 between Houghton Regis Dog & Duck to all stops to Luton was discontinued. Passengers should now use Busway Routes A or Z. 

A replacement 38 and 38D service is operated by Arriva as a contract to Central Bedfordshires Council linking Houghton Regis, Houghton Road, Salters Way and Dunstable (Asda). This will operate Mondays to Saturdays (not evenings). A circuitous route around Parkside, Tithe Farm, Houghton Road, High Street North, Dunstable Ashton Square and back again. Only the 38D calls at Dog & Duck. Only the 38 calls at Salters Way.

Route 39 linking Parkside Dog & Duck, L & D Hospital, Luton was withdrawn. Passengers should use new Route Z.

Busway Route A – there were minor changes to times. Coming from Dunstable, the A connects at Parkside Neptune Square/Dolphin Drive with new Route Z, and from there goes to L&D Hospital and Luton. Passengers can stay on the same bus as it changes from Route number A to route number Z at Parkside Dog & Duck. Coming back, The Z changes into the A at Neptune Square/Dolphin Drive.

New Busway Route Z – Parkside Neptune Square/Dolphin Drive, Lewsey Farm, L & D Hospital, Busway, Luton. This links with Busway A as detailed above. This replaced route 39, but operates fast between L & D Hospital and Luton via the Busway.

Route 24 which links Dunstable, Katherine Drive, Lewsey, Leagrave, Marsh Farm, Barnfield College and Luton now operates only between Dunstable and Marsh Farm. This service  operates hourly (currently every 30 minutes Mondays to Fridays; every hour on Saturdays).

Route 31 links Dunstable, Luton Road, L&D Hospital, Bury Park, Luton, and also serves Luton Interchange to provide a better link at Luton Rail Station

Route 31 was withdrawn on Sundays to Totternhoe, Eaton Bray, Whipsnade Zoo, Kensworth, Studham. These villages will no longer have a Sunday service.

Route 70 was extended from Leighton Buzzard to Milton Keynes on Sundays. This and Route F70 already serve Milton Keynes on Mondays to Saturdays. This means there is now a service every day from Dunstable to Milton Keynes.

Plan Your Travel: 


Historical Data


26/1/2015 Concerned users of the Arriva 38 Bus Service set up their own Facebook Group. They are worried about upheavals being caused by Arriva, due to start in April this year. The company plan to replace the 38 with the A service (that runs on the busway), and a new Z service that will run between Dolphin Drive in Houghton Regis and Luton town centre via Wheatfield Rd surgery and L&D Hospital. Several readers of HRND have pointed out that this change will mean 2 buses for them, and no services to take them to All Saints Academy or the Council offices in High Street North, for example.


30/1/2015 Cllr Alan Winter has written to Linsey Frostick, Regional Marketing Manager for Arriva, about the proposals.
The areas of concern in Houghton Regis are:
1. Will the "Z" just change the number to "A" at the Dog & Duck, or will people have to get off one bus and wait for another?
REPLY:– The current plan is that the A will change into the Z at Parkside so no change of bus is required and through tickets will be available

2. How will people get from Parkside and Tithe Farm to All Saints Academy and High Street North?
REPLY:– We are still looking at this as part of the feedback received so far.

3. There is a suggestion that a tendered service, 58, will serve covering point 2. As it's not clear at present where exactly it will run, and how often, people are nervous that it might not meet their needs.
REPLY:– I do not think the tender has been issued [by CBC] yet.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

It's 7am until 2am for Local off Licence in Bedford Square

Nevil Food & Wine have a premises  licence to sell alcohol in Bedford Square. The licensing authority, are Central Bedfordshire Council, who state that notices were placed for 28 days on the premises and a copy was published in a local paper, and on CBC website, as well as notifying CBC councillors.
The licence was granted on 4th February.
No statutory consultees had any representations and CBC received none from other persons. The licensing period runs from 7am until 2am.
The store previously traded as "J&S Image".
The Houghton Regis Town Council is not a statutory consultee.
A list of current licensed premises for Houghton Regis can be found here:
CBC website (pdf file)

Friday, 17 April 2015

Balfour Beatty Construction Get the Contract To Build The #WoodsideLink

The contract to construct the Woodside Link road has now been awarded to Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK. Central Bedfordshire Council authorised the contract award at a meeting of its Executive on 31 March 2015.

The 1.8-mile Woodside Link road will connect the Porz Avenue / Park Road North / Poynters Road roundabout to a new M1 motorway junction 11a; it will link to the A5-M1 Link (currently under construction) and to Sundon Road; and it will serve proposed housing and business developments.

The Woodside Link is scheduled to open in autumn 2016.

Central Beds Council dedicated Woodside Link webpage has been updated.

Central Beds - 90% of Pupils to Get First Preference School

More than 90 per cent of children starting school across Central Bedfordshire in September have been granted their first preference.

Today (16 April) is National Primary Offer Day, when pupils across the country discover where they will be starting school after the summer holidays.

Here, 92.5 per cent of the 3,304* pupils who applied to start their education at a lower or primary school in Central Bedfordshire for the 2015/16 academic year were granted their first preference.

Of those that didn’t, 3.9 per cent got their second preference, one per cent achieved their third preference and the remaining 2.6 per cent will be allocated an alternative school which has places available.

Helen Redding, the council’s Assistant Director School Improvement, said: “I am delighted that so many pupils have been granted their first preference for September despite the challenges of an increasing population.

“Every child in Central Bedfordshire should be able to attend a good, local school which is why we are spending more than £100million to create 6,500 new places over the next five years.”

For more information about school admissions and transfers, visit or email

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Police Launch Crackdown on Off-Road Bikes

Bedfordshire Police has launched a crackdown on the illegal and dangerous practice of riding off-road bikes in public places.

Officers have responded to public concerns and taken action against the growing use of such vehicles with a two-day series operation in Houghton Regis and Luton.

In order to combat the anti-social behaviour in these areas, the force has commissioned two off-road police bikes to help target those committing the offences.

On Tuesday and Wednesday (14 and 15 April) a team of 24 police staff including an inspector, two sergeants, three response police officers, a vehicle examiner and 15 PCSOs took to the streets, along with two road policing officers on the specially-enlisted bikes.

The initiative, called Operation Meteor, resulted in two arrests on Tuesday in the Parkside area of Houghton Regis.

Two people were arrested, two stolen bikes were recovered and 
two Section 59 Notices (warnings) were issued.

Officers also visited two addresses, including one in Dunstable, as a direct result of reports from the public on incidents of anti-social and dangerous behaviour.

During yesterday's operation in Luton, two police officers from the community team, six PCSOs and two officers on the off-road bikes were out in force covering the Stopsley Common, Wigmore Valley Park and Stockwood Park areas.

PC Richard Tott, leading the operation, said: "There were a lot of people out on the common and in the parks. They were very pleased to see the off-road bikes and the local community team.

"There were very few incidents relating to bikes so we can assume that the culprits saw the increased police presence and decided to stay at home."

It is against the law to ride motor-vehicles such as mopeds, motorcycles and scooters on public highways – including parks and pavements – unless they meet certain legal requirements.

It is also a legal requirement for all riders and pillion passengers to wear a protective helmet, regardless of the type of vehicle they are riding.

Chief Inspector Gavin Hughes-Rowlands, overseeing the two operations, said: “We want to reassure the public, through these operations, that we are taking action on their concerns to tackle these offenders and keep our communities safe.

“People may not see us acting immediately, but we have to be intelligence-led in our response to this kind of crimes and have been working hard behind the scenes to deal with this dangerous and anti-social behaviour.

“We have maximised our opportunities to get the most positive result, and this week’s results are a reflection on that with a number of arrests made, warnings given and stolen vehicles recovered.”

Chief Inspector Hughes-Rowlands also urged residents to remain vigilant and report any information they have around off-road biking in their communities.

He added: “I would encourage people to continue to call 101 with information – not just to tell us what has happened but also who is doing it, what they look like, and what they are wearing. This will help us to target the offenders.

"I am reminding those who want to keep up this nuisance behaviour that it won’t be tolerated and they will be caught.

"This week’s operations won’t be the last and I am warning anyone who is part of this activity that we will be back again."

Anyone with information is urged to call the Bedfordshire Police non-emergency number 101, or text 07786 200 011.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Free Training Courses at The Incuba

The Incuba Project - Provision for Business
Email: Phone: 01582 343810
One click away from
Free Training Courses!

Up to £1000 of funding available to support eligible SMEs in Central Bedfordshire and the South East region.
Benefit from an offer of free training  consultancy from the Incuba Project, run by Central Bedfordshire College. The College has been awarded funding from the European Regional development Fund to support small local companies to develop and thrive.

A comprehensive package of courses can be accessed from home or the office at a time to suit you.

There are over 100 training courses to choose from including web design, office software, social media marketing, bookkeeping, safeguarding children, sales and marketing, management and many, many more.

Partner brands like Cisco will provide free specialist ICT training. Lynda, a leading specialist provider of on-line business training based in the USA will be at your fingertips once you register with the project.

The project will also be offering some specialist one and two day courses at the centre in Dunstable. Available until June 2015. To subscribe click here.

The Incuba, 1 Brewers Hill Road, Dunstable, LU6 1AA


UPDATE 30/9/2015
Average Speed Cameras in Poynters Rd. A mini cab driver has called to say he has been issued with a notice supported by automatic cameras on 27/9/2015 for driving in excess of 30mph travelling towards Houghton Regis on Poynters Road. This afternoon a senior figure at CBC, Highways, confirmed to HRND that the signs are all in place and enforcement has begun. 

Average Speed Cameras in Poynters Rd. A mini cab driver has called to say he has been issued with a notice supported by...
Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Wednesday, 30 September 2015
How to Contest a Speeding Notice, Which?
This website looks to be very useful for anyone requiring advice on this area, including the regulations, and what you can do about a speeding ticket.

The speed cameras that have been installed on Poynters Road are digital average speed cameras and will measure the overall speed of motorist’s travelling the length of Poynters Road. They will also measure the speeds of motorist’s joining from Leagrave High Street on to Poynters Road.
The cameras are to enforce the 30mph limit and anyone found travelling at an average of 35mph or above over the length of the road will be liable to prosecution by the Police. The cameras are set to enforce the 30mph limit and not designed to monitor speeds lower than the posted speed limit.

Advice from Central Beds Council: "The signs will be installed soon as per regulations and the law. Enforcement cannot take place without the regulatory signs. The cameras go through a phase of testing and calibration via the Home Office process and back to the Police control centre in Stevenage. Once this is complete and the cameras are certified and signs in place, enforcement will commence."

  • Comments On Facebook:

POYNTERS ROAD SPEED CAMERAS The speed cameras that have been installed on Poynters Road are digital average speed...
Posted by Houghton Regis News Desk on Monday, 13 April 2015

Friday, 10 April 2015

Passenger Numbers at Luton Airport Increase to Over 840,000 Per Month

Surging passenger demand at London Luton Airport ahead of £100 million expansion

Latest figures show passenger numbers up 18.6% on March 2014. Strong demand delivers 12th consecutive month of growth for the Airport. £100 million investment will transform LLA and boost capacity

London Luton Airport (LLA) has recorded an 18.6% increase in passenger numbers during March 2015 compared to the same month last year, with 840,820 passengers choosing to fly from the Airport. This marks the 12th consecutive month of growth in passenger numbers at LLA.

LLA is responding to strong demand from passengers with a £100 million redevelopment and investment programme that will transform the Airport. The project that will increase annual capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year by 2026, as well as bringing about major improvements including:

A complete redesign of the terminal to create a quick, efficient, friendly and convenient passenger experience. 

Major upgrades to transport links, including better road access to the M1, new car parking facilities, a remodelled bus and coach interchange and improved rail links.

Exciting new shopping and eating options and the development of a new world-class executive lounge.

Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said: “Growth is being driven by the Airport’s great range of destinations, as well as our excellent transport links and easy access from London and the surrounding regions.  Our £100 million redevelopment will allow us to improve the Airport’s facilities and add new capacity to ensure we can continue to meet this growing demand.”

Thursday, 2 April 2015


2 April 2015,

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Highways England Company Limited (Company no. 9346363) intends to make an Order on the M1 Motorway in Central Bedfordshire, to provide a safe working environment for the workforce to allow for the construction of the new A5/M1 link road, and associated works including a new Junction 11a.

... ( notice continues) ...

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Council Award £38.3m Contract for Woodside Link Construction #WoodsideLink

View from Wheatfield Road will change as the new road is built.

A council committee have given the go ahead to award a contract for construction of a new road to relieve traffic around the south and east of Houghton Regis. The road will connect Woodside Industrial estate in Houghton Regis and Dunstable, to the M1 J11a, already in construction.

Central Bedfordshire Council's Executive yesterday agreed the award of the contract for the Woodside Link. A report to the committee stated that 5 contractors had tendered for the work in February this year. In October 2012 it had been estimated that the project would cost around £42 million, with £10 million of risk.   Tenders submitted were lower than expected. The scheme is now likely to cost around £38.3m.  CBC has secured £25 million in external funding and £1 million in developer contributions towards the scheme, leaving the council to underwrite the remaining costs of £12.3m. CBC
borrowing is unlikely to be required before 2017/18 at the earliest.

Council Reports:

The Central Bedfordshire Council (Woodside Link Houghton Regis) Development Consent Order came into force 21st October 2014 

Footpaths Closed