Anger after roadworks force closure of Biggleswade Reuse Centre and Food Bank

Biggleswade Reuse Centre and Food Bank has been forced to close after access to its car park was blocked by Central Beds Council’s highways department.

By Olga Norford
Friday, 8th April 2022, 4:19 pm

The food bank, run by The Preen Preen Community Interest Company, posted an emergency closure announcement on its Facebook page page yesterday (April 7).

But Central Beds Council says access was only limited ‘at times’ while repairs were completed – and that its contractor will make a donation to the food bank.

The announcement stated: “We’ve arrived this morning to find that highways have completely blocked access to our car park and the street will be closed for at least two days.

Staff at The Preen Community Interest Company, in Bigglewade, says it's been forced to close after access to its car park was blocked

“This means nobody can get to us (or Hire & Buy next door) either today or tomorrow. There’s no food bank (unless you can walk in) no access for donations to be dropped off or to collect furniture purchases.

“We are absolutely furious that there’s been no consideration of our businesses - it will cost Preen £5k in lost income.

"We will be closed again today because the road isn’t finished and there’s no access to the Reuse Centre. That includes the foodbank.

“We had people carrying kids and pushing buggies through roadworks to get to us. Please don’t do this - we love to see you but it’s dangerous.

“I’m so sorry for the people we disappointed today.”

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Staff say they had no prior warning of the closure prior to arriving for work at the centre based in Sun Street, Biggleswade.

A spokesman for Central Beds Council said: “We have maintained pedestrian access and vehicular access was only limited at times while the repairs were completed on the section of road. This has been communicated to Preen.

“Works up to the junction/fork with St John Street will be completed today. Works for the second half of Sun Street, that extend from the fork to the junction between Sun Street and Rose Lane will be carried out at a later date, for one day or night, with plenty of notice given to residents and businesses.

“As a goodwill gesture for any inconvenience caused, Volker Highways, the contractor responsible for the work, have confirmed they will make a donation to Preen Food Bank to assist them with their valuable work in the community.”