Plans for speed humps on Houghton Regis road shelved thanks to Woodside LInk

Planned speed humps on a Houghton Regis road have been shelved thanks to traffic volumes now being diverted to the Woodside Link.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 1:43 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 1:44 pm
Windsor Drive in Houghton Regis

A crossing for pedestrians and cyclists will be installed on a road in Houghton Regis but plans for speed humps along it have been shelved.

The town council requested traffic calming for Windsor Drive in 2017, as it was concerned about vehicle speeds.

Principal highways officer Charlotte Dunham told a Central Bedfordshire Council traffic management meeting: "We've proposed five flat top tables and a dual use zebra crossing to cater for cyclists and pedestrians.

"The scheme will be funded by money from the Sandringham Aldwyck development," she explained.

"It's a long straight road which is quite wide. The speed data shows 36mph southbound and 34mph northbound.

"Chicanes were ruled out because it's not appropriate as it's a bus route.

"The town council supports the crossing, but not the traffic calming, saying the area has changed since its request in 2017."

The national cycle network route six passes through the northern end of Windsor Drive, according to a report to councillors.

Of the 11 public responses, five opposed the road humps with one in favour, one objected to the crossing and one supported it, while the position of the rest was unclear, said the report.

Some asked why the humps are needed and questioned spending money on this, and others wondered whether chicanes would be a better option.

Liberal Democrat Houghton Hall councillor Susan Goodchild asked for the crossing to be agreed, but not the speed humps.

"In 2017, the M1/A5 link road and Woodside Link opened," she explained.

"The situation in Windsor Drive and the rest of Houghton Regis changed substantially for the better.

"Windsor Drive is a pleasant service road serving 800 homes and is never very busy.

"The data shows vehicle movements of about 1,600 per day, which amounts to two trips in and out per household.

"These figures show the traffic flow is extremely light and not heavy enough to justify these measures and the associated cost."

Liberal Democrat Houghton Hall councillor Yvonne Farrell wondered whether "it would be beneficial to monitor the network traffic before spending substantial sums on the entire scheme" because of the pandemic.

"I realise at some point it might change, but should it be a consideration?" she asked.

Former town councillor Alan Winter said in a statement: "Traffic is much lower than before.

"Since Windsor Drive was well used, the Woodside Link has been built and the M1 junction 11a.

"So the volume of traffic using Windsor Drive is now considerably lower."

Conservative Arlesey councillor Ian Dalgarno said 20mph for the area might be something for the future with a further 100 homes planned nearby.

Team leader traffic management Paul Salmon explained: "To achieve the 20mph you need the (traffic calming) features.

"Here we're talking about not putting in the raised measures, just the crossing. So they conflict with each other.

"You need to bring the speed down to that sort of level before Bedfordshire Police would support the introduction of a 20mph zone or limit within that area."

Councillor Dalgarno, who chairs the meeting, said: "This has taken so long to come to fruition.

"The traffic history has changed dramatically since Woodside Link was built and the M1 junction 11a.

"There's the opportunity to look at a 20mph limit here, but we're not proposing that for the whole road and it's borderline whether those humps are needed now.

"My decision is to approve the tiger crossing. I'm not minded to install the humps as they're not needed."