A6 Meeting at Borough Hall, on 18th November

Notes of meeting

Two members of Bedford Borough Council and two members of Wilshamstead Parish Council attended the meeting.

Status and Timetable for projected completion

Confirmed completion revised to the end March 2020. No truth in rumour of further delays. Weekly project meetings held, progress is good.  Drainage mostly done and large section to the south close to being laid with top surface.

Current delay because previous drainage system not fit for purpose and road foundation not strong enough.

Work so far: surface removed, kerbs crushed, existing drainage ditches cleared, new drainage system installed, old foundations removed, new road under construction.

Agreed to arrange site visit for members of Parish Council.

Meeting to be held early in December with Police to determine effectiveness of Average Speed Cameras and discuss sanctions on HGVs ignoring the 7.5 tonne limit.

No alternative to current Diversion route which is taking some traffic but still leaving a considerable flow through Wilstead. Need therefore to address means of improving congestion at peak times.

Residents Concerns

·     HGVs not using official diversion.

·     Vibration experienced when HGVs pass through the village.  Advise Borough of companies and registration of vehicles involved. They will write to companies involved. Considered a better option than the Police, who would hold up all the traffic.

·     Damage to road surface and verges at Luton Road junction. Pot holes starting to appear between junction and crossroads.

·     Drainage issue around crossroad traffic lights.

·     Luton Road to receive priority in the new Budget Year.  Improvements would include addressing the above plus planning for a mini-roundabout at the crossroads (too much disruption would be caused by addressing this now), removing the 'chicane' opposite Briar Bank and improving the signage on the island at the Luton end entrance to the village.

·     Increasing number of accidents

·     Many road rage incidents

·     Danger ref pedestrians crossing roads. Pedestrian lights frequently not working. Borough will ask contractor to renew the equipment.

·     Diversion signs ineffective. Frequent long queue into village from Bedford direction at peak time in the afternoon. Borough will consider how traffic can be prevented from using the outside lane of the dual carriageway to bypass queue.

·     No signs on A421 from the east – impractical in view of lack of exit slip at A600 junction. So no way to avoid leaving at junction with A6.

·     No use of A421 as part of diversion. Awaiting agreement from Highways England

·     High level of noise from workings reported by residents located nearest to A6. No work is to take place after 6pm.

·     Reports that cracks appearing in resident's house at Long Meadow Drive are directly attributed to A6 workings vibration. Not able to substantiate A6 workings as a cause.

·     Traffic speed. Average Speed cameras are effective. Speed bumps impractical on bus routes

·     Pollution. Environment group at Borough to be asked to investigate

Proposals / Solutions

·     Temporary Box Junction at Crossroads now completed, having some effect in allowing traffic out of Cotton End Road.

·     4 way traffic lights at Cross Roads – these would cause even more unacceptable delays and temporary 4 way lights do not have a pedestrian option.

·     Average speed cameras to extend to Cotton End Road. Discussion ongoing with Parish Council.

·     Regular monthly progress meetings and site visits with the Borough and Contractor representative to take place.

·     Contact details for reporting: General problems, including problems with traffic lights- highways.helpdesk@bedford.gov.uk

·     Copy to

·     a6roadworks@wilhamsteadparishcouncil.org

·     Use of school crossing attendant - unlikely due to lack of trained individuals. Zebra crossing is the usual option but this would restrict parking in the Post Office area

·     Use of ANPR cameras to record HGV's – possible but longer term.

Next Meeting

Monday 20th December at 11.00 am at Borough Hall - Site meeting: TBA