Part of Biggleswade street to become one-way to prevent it being used as rat run

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Plan will also improve local traffic flow

Making part of a street in Biggleswade one-way will prevent it being used as a rat run, a meeting heard.

A consultation was set up by Central Bedfordshire Council to implement a one-way restriction and contra-flow cycle lane on Lawrence Road in the town.

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This applies to the section of the street from Railway View southbound towards the back of number two Lawrence Road, according to a report to a local authority traffic management meeting.

Restrictions on Lawrence Road, in Biggleswade town centre, will help prevent drivers using it as a rat runRestrictions on Lawrence Road, in Biggleswade town centre, will help prevent drivers using it as a rat run
Restrictions on Lawrence Road, in Biggleswade town centre, will help prevent drivers using it as a rat run

“Lawrence Road is narrow with parking on both sides, which impedes two-way traffic flow unless there’s a gap to pass,” said the report.

“It also attracts commuter parking, as there are no restrictions or controls in place and it’s about 400m from Biggleswade Railway Station.

“This will be complementary to the one-way scheme for The Baulk, and help traffic flow in the surrounding area.

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“The road is part of the Great North Cycleway and a local cycling and walking infrastructure plans (LCWIP) route. The contra-flow cycle link would continue this towards Potton and Sandy.”

Graham Bull, of Railway View, told the meeting residents use the parking bays as well as commuters, saying: “People in Laurel View and Railway View use this stretch of Lawrence Way to get out of Biggleswade and will make it busier.”

A Lawrence Road resident Mr Cook explained: “It’s currently a 30mph old Victorian road, with the parked vehicles. If the one-way is implemented, the expectation is a 20mph limit would be needed or some form of traffic calming because we’ve had a number of incidents there.

“By making it one-way, the speed of traffic will increase. We’ve had vehicles written off on that section of road.

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“The removal of parking bays near the Ivel Medical Centre is a worry, as residents fear commuters will park further along Lawrence Road and in Shuttleworth Court where we struggle to find spaces already.”

He asked for restrictions to stop commuters or for resident permits after the parking bays have gone, adding there are “concerns over the dray lorry delivering” to a local pub once the road becomes one-way.

Independent Biggleswade West councillor Hayley Whitaker said: “Hopefully this will deter some of the commuter parking and the road from being used as a rat run.

“I share the concern about a loss of spaces and welcome the recommendation for an informal consultation about parking permits. Can I suggest we also consider Shuttleworth Court because I can see commuters looking to park there instead.

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“We’ve looked at Lawrence Road in the past and one of the reasons this didn’t go ahead was it would result in a loss of parking spaces.

“Can we make clear to residents that would be the case, perhaps providing an indication of how many spaces could be lost. It’s not apparent to everyone why that would happen.”

Independent Sandy councillor Simon Ford, who chairs the meeting, agreed to the one-way system for part of Lawrence Road, and to review potential extra restrictions, while asking highways officers to consult residents of Laurel View and Railway View.