MP slams ‘dangerous’ Dunstable and Houghton Regis roads in Commons appeal for action on unadopted areas

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
9-year-old girl scared to walk to school due to lack of crossings

Unadopted roads in Dunstable and Houghton Regis are a blight for homeowners a local MP has told the House of Commons.

Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire, highlighted some of the issues facing homeowners who he says are paying double for services they are not receiving.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He told an adjournment debate on unadopted roads and the lack of facilities for new housing estates in the Commons on Thursday that the issue was making living conditions dangerous for residents.

Residents of new housing estates, including these plans for Bidwell West, have hit out at the lack of support over unadopted roadsResidents of new housing estates, including these plans for Bidwell West, have hit out at the lack of support over unadopted roads
Residents of new housing estates, including these plans for Bidwell West, have hit out at the lack of support over unadopted roads

He said: “The lack of street lights, parking enforcement, pedestrian crossings, pavements, and speeding restrictions make living extremely dangerous at times for those residents. Unadopted roads are subject to surface drainage issues, leading to a higher risk of flooding, and mortgage lenders sometimes withdraw funds from prospective buyers if a road is not adopted."

He highlighted the case of a mother from Bidwell West whose nine-year-old daughter was scared to walk to school because there are no pedestrian crossings.

"There have already been numerous head-on crashes on her new estate because of the lack of signage and speed restrictions. There are now large potholes appearing in some of the roads, and the lack of lighting is dangerous for dog walkers and other pedestrians on these dark winter evenings,” he said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"On the safety issue, are we going to let the situation continue like this until - God forbid - a child gets killed?”

He said: “In Dunstable, the residents of Harvey Road have never had street lighting, and they have to navigate round potholes—that situation has gone on since at least 1961. A resident of a new estate being built at Tilling Green in Dunstable tells me that she has no street lights and that parking on junctions is extremely dangerous.

"A constituent from the new Eleanor Gardens development in Dunstable tells me that Taylor Wimpey told her that it had handed the estate over to the council, while Central Bedfordshire Council said that it was unable to help because the handover had not happened.

Read More
24 Hours in Police Custody: ‘Clare’s Law’ used to warn partner of Luton sex atta...

"Why is it that we require residents on new estates to pay full council tax while receiving very much less than full council services? Many residents are now paying twice for identical services.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I am particularly indebted to the briefing I have received for this debate from the Reverend Tim Haines, the pioneer community worker for Bidwell West,” he said. “He points out that on new developments it is not clear who is responsible for what and that at the very least we need a stakeholders working group, comprising builders, housing associations, landowners, the local authority and residents.”

Mr Selous called for the Department of Transport: “to take a lead on this issue and deliver significant improvement in how we provide roads on new estates.”

In reply Transport Minister Lucy Frazer said: “The Department for Transport has issued clear and simple guidance to councils to help them navigate some of the complexities surrounding new developments and the adoption, maintenance and upkeep of roads. They can use that guidance in those initial conversations with developers before a road is built, and long before they become major headaches for parties, not least homeowners themselves.”