Dualling of Vauxhall Way labelled 'a complete disaster' by Lib Dem councillor
A major transport scheme for the east of Luton has been labelled “a complete disaster” by a borough councillor.
But the £3.2m dualling of Vauxhall Way, which was temporarily halted in August, is set to resume in the new year, possibly with some modifications.
Traffic lights will be installed on the four current roundabout junctions of Kimpton Road, Eaton Green Road, Crawley Green Road and Stopsley Way, which will be transformed into a T junction.
At a consultation event, Liberal Democrat Wigmore councillor Diane Moles said: “I consider it, as a resident of Stopsley, a complete disaster.
“Why hasn’t Luton learnt that traffic lights don’t work? They cause more air pollution and they slow the traffic.
“At present the traffic’s flowing. On the whole it works. Stockingstone Road is a huge problem.
“I can’t see how we’re going to gain very much until that’s sorted out.
“In the budget, it was £11,000 to replace the trees,” she added. “No way will £11,000 stretch that far.”
Liberal Democrat Crawley councillor Terry Keens said: “Yes, I think the road should be widened, but to take away the roundabouts and replace them with traffic lights is ridiculous.
“It’s going to cause a backlog in Stopsley Way, in Crawley Green and possibly in Eaton Green, as well.
“The pollution control committee is looking at traffic lights and that will be one of its recommendations to reduce the number in and around the airport.
“I’ve estimated 30 new traffic lights along a small stretch of road.”
Resident Maria Carr, from Vauxhall Park, said: “This part of Luton is just being bombarded with lots of things, the roadworks, the airport and then lots of houses.
“About 17 years ago, they decided to put traffic lights on Kimpton Road and they lasted 24 hours. It brought everything to a standstill and that’s what they intend to do again on the roundabouts. I can only envisage the same thing happening.
“We’re losing our only green corridor, as well. We seem to be losing the only bits of green that Luton have left.”
Brian Butcher, from Stopsley village, added: “Roundabouts allow traffic to move. The roads aren’t big enough to take all the traffic.
“What we needed is at the top of Vauxhall Way, instead of having to turn left or right, we should have gone straight across down towards the A6.”
David White, of Kynance Close, said: “There are a lot of trees there, which is good for us. It keeps the pollution down.
“They’re going to replace them, but they’re never going to put in as many trees as are currently there.”
Lindsay Carr, from Vauxhall Park, said: “Luton is the fourth most congested place in Britain, behind London, Manchester and Birmingham.
“The plans you’ve got here will raise Luton to number one because nobody will go anywhere.
“You can’t have a ring road because that will encroach into Hertfordshire and they’re dead against Luton because of the airport.”
Another local resident Dean Penny said: “It would have been nice if they gave us a plan for the whole of Luton.
“We’re just seeing a section. There are so many auxiliary and spur roads.
“The answers are not coming out as to what is happening to those.
“Without seeing the bigger picture of what they’re going to do to the rest of Luton I can’t see it working as it stands.
“You need to look at Stockingstone Road and the other parts.”