Double yellow line plan to improve Luton to Dunstable busway

Parking restrictions on three roads in Houghton Regis are set to improve the flow of buses along the £91m Luton to Dunstable busway, a meeting heard.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 4th April 2022, 2:29 pm
Updated Monday, 4th April 2022, 2:30 pm

Double yellow lines are to be put on Blackburn Road, Townsend Farm Road and part of Portland Close in Houghton Regis.

One of the bus stops on Blackburn Road will be relocated and a shelter provided, according to a report to a Central Bedfordshire Council traffic management meeting.

"Bus operators highlighted that parking for vehicles on the busway route impedes the free flow of the traffic and they support these measures," said the report.

The Luton to Dunstable Busway

"Four objections were made about the extent of double yellow lines saying the restrictions would impede on business employees, while customers would have nowhere to park once their on-site parking is full."

Houghton Regis Town Council called for a loading bay next to the post box on Townsend Farm Road which is used by local companies.

Central Beds Council's new engineering contract project manager Briony Hall said: "The reason for this is to improve the guided bus route, as it's part of the Luton to Dunstable busway.

"Vehicles have been unable to travel quickly and there's an issue with a food kiosk around the junction between Townsend Farm Road and Blackburn Road.

"One objection was about moving the bus stop, which is to provide better facilities with a shelter."

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An objector Mr Evans, who has two workshops in Blackburn Road, described the double yellow lines on both sides of the road as "a sledgehammer to crack a nut."

He said the area is used for overnight parking by lorries, adding: "Yellow lines down one side of the road would be perfect.

"I felt the measures overall are a little over the top for what isn't that much of a problem in my experience."

Liberal Democrat Houghton Hall councillor Susan Goodchild suggested the layout of the junction causes some of the issues affecting Townsend Farm Road.

"Hopefully that will be addressed as part of the improvements to the area, particularly with the Lidl development," she explained.

"That junction historically has impeded the flow of buses from the busway, which is an amazing provision for Houghton Regis.

"The fact Central Beds Council will adopt the area will make things much better as there are issues needing attention, such as drainage."

Conservative Arlesey councillor Ian Dalgarno, who chairs the meeting, said: "One of great success stories in Houghton Regis and Dunstable has been the busway.

"The feedback from local bus companies is the impact parking has on the quick movement of buses. The whole ethos is about providing a timely service which works well.

"What we're seeing on this particular route is a range of vehicles and HGVs parking and impeding the flow and visibility in this area, which is a concern.

"We need to ensure the busway remains an unimpeded service, as it's a huge investment. Lorries should be in car parks or lorry parks for overnight parking, not the highway.

"If we put yellow lines in, those lorries or other vehicles will go somewhere. We'll need to do an assessment of where they've gone. We don't want to move or create a problem elsewhere."

He asked for a review on the outcomes of the scheme in six months.