£4m Vauxhall Way road improvements scheme to be resumed in New Year

Work is on course to resume in the New Year on the first phase of £4m improvements to Vauxhall Way in Luton, if borough councillors agree to it.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 4:13 pm
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 4:14 pm

Initial preparations got underway in August to install traffic lights at the junction of Vauxhall Way, Hitchin Road and Stopsley Way.

But the scheme ground to a halt after local Liberal Democrat councillors argued the council had failed to consult anyone about the project.

Two drop-in events were held in the area in October to allow residents and their council representatives to have their say.

Vauxhall Way is set to undergo major improvements

A report to the local authority’s overview and scrutiny board on Thursday (Dec 19) is asking councillors to back the proposals, with some amendments following the consultation process.

The £3.2m phased dualling of Vauxhall Way is the main development and could take up to four years to complete.

Planning approval allowing London Luton Airport to expand to 18m passengers a year in 2014 also included a legal agreement for improvements to the four junctions along Vauxhall Way to cater for the increased traffic.

A £2m contribution towards this work was supplemented by a further £1.2m from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) in 2017.

A review of congested junctions took place in 2014/2015, while the council also commissioned a study of the whole east Luton area in August 2017.

The scrutiny board will consider plans which are recommended for approval by the council’s executive.

“It is recommended that the council’s executive approve the Hitchin Road/Stopsley Way/Vauxhall Way junction improvement scheme,” according to a report to the board.

“Part of the funding will come from the £26.65m Vauxhall Way capital programme, including tree planting in Ashcroft Road Park.”

Highways officers are to report back to the executive and investigate improvements to the Stockingstone Road/Old Bedford Road junction, earlier in the project, said the report.

And they will investigate improvements to Birchen Grove junction.

If the executive does not approve the scheme, there will be a loss of £1.2m of Local Growth Fund finance, explained the report.

“Following the consultation, further detailed design is proposed on the overall Vauxhall Way scheme.

“But it is proposed to deliver the Hitchin Road/Stopsley Way/Vauxhall Way

section as the first phase, while the junction improvements are anticipated to start on site early in 2020.

“The scheme will introduce CCTV monitoring, improved street lighting and pedestrian crossing facilities, and it will provide a cycle route linking to Shelton Way, Stopsley High School and Inspire Luton.”

A larger roundabout option was rejected as it was considered not user friendly for cyclists and pedestrians.

The board is asked to support a proposal for the executive to approve the Hitchin Road/Stopsley Way/Vauxhall Way junction improvement scheme.