No decision will be made on reversing the traffic flow in a shopping road until a parking study has been completed.
That was the verdict of Central Beds Council’s traffic management committee after considering the proposals for Hitchin Street in Biggleswade.
The committee, which met on Thursday, November 21, was presented with a petition containing more than 4,000 signatures by Biggleswade Chamber of Trade chairman Martin Thomas and Hitchin Street traders.
The petition calls for the traffic flow to be reversed to encourage more trade in the road and to help existing traffic problems.
It also asks for more car parking in the town centre and a long stay area where motorists can park for up to four hours.
But committee chairman Councillor Brian Spurr said that no decision should be made until a long-term parking study which is currently being undertaken in the town is finished.
In a statement Councillor Budge Wells, deputy executive member for sustainable communities, services at Central Beds Council said: “Councillor Spurr agreed in the meeting that it was best to look at the petition again after the parking study for the town centre is completed.
“This will give everyone a much clearer idea of car parking availability and capacity in the town centre and will inform the development of a car parking strategy.
“Once we’ve worked through those, any proposals from this strategy will be subject to consultation in the new year. “
He added: “Consideration of any changes to traffic management on Hitchin Street will be deferred until the wider impact on streets and junctions next to Hitchin Street can be fully understood and taken into account, as well as proposals for the Market Square, including re-use or redevelopment of Century House. “
The decision follows a meeting of Biggleswade Town Council’s town centre management committee on Tuesday, November 19 where councillors agreed that the reversal of the traffic flow was vital in light of the proposed new multi-storey car park in Bonds Lane.
Chairman Madeline Russell said: “The proposed design of the new car park development makes the reversal all the more important.”