A1 crossing near Biggleswade will be blocked off later this year - but National Highways says 'appropriate access should be constructed'

Residents waiting to cross at Tingey's Corner. Image: Mike Wells.Residents waiting to cross at Tingey's Corner. Image: Mike Wells.
Residents waiting to cross at Tingey's Corner. Image: Mike Wells.
Crossing was labelled "absolutely lethal" by Biggleswade town councillor

A crossing over the A1 at Upper Caldecote branded “absolutely lethal” by a town councillor is set to be blocked off later this year.

Confirmation of the planned closure of Tingey’s Corner came in a letter from National Highways to Biggleswade Town Council. The local authority wants an underpass provided to access local villages.

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National Highways outlined its plans “to permanently close the gap in the central reservation barrier on the A1 near Upper Caldecote” in its correspondence.

“Having reviewed more than 50 representations, agreement to proceed with closing the gap in this barrier has been upheld,” said the letter.

“This will be formalised now through the publication of a traffic regulation order. The intended action is in response to vehicle movements associated with the Woodlands Nursery development at Biggleswade.

“A recurring concern raised by several respondents was appropriate provision for pedestrians and other non-motorised users, who may opt to cross the carriageway at this location.

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“We’ve decided an appropriate access should be constructed, subject to a full safety audit process, with any agreed mitigations recommended also being implemented.”

The letter added: “A number of road traffic collisions have been recorded at the junction. These accidents have involved drivers attempting to make a right turn manoeuvre.

“Blocking off the central reservation gap will be subject to completing statutory procedures and scheduling of the required work. We currently expect closure to happen during autumn or winter of 2023.

“Traffic modelling indicates shutting the gap will reduce traffic levels on Hitchin Road, Hill Lane and at the junction with the A1 Biggleswade north roundabout.

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“The weight restriction on Hitchin Road will prohibit large vehicles, such as HGVs, from travelling through Upper Caldecote.”

Referring to a potential new access, town councillor Frank Foster told a town council meeting: “That’s a definite way forward, which is excellent news.

“The closure (of Tingey’s Corner) is going ahead during autumn or winter this year and it looks positive,” he said.

Town councillor David Albone warned: “It’s slightly concerning over the wording ‘an appropriate access should be constructed’.

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“It doesn’t say it’s going to be what we want there, which is an underpass rather than a bridge.”

Deputy mayor Madeline Russell explained: “Although National Highways is saying something will happen, we should contact our recent public speaker Mike Wells to find out if we need to apply more pressure.

“There’s no indication here where the funding might come from and when an underpass might be built. So it’s nice words and much better news than we might have expected, but we need to maintain that stance.

“Officers could write back asking for more information about this and reiterate that we support the idea of an underpass. We can copy in North East Bedfordshire MP Richard Fuller and Mr Wells to keep the pot on the boil.”

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Mayor Grant Fage said: “We’ll ask for more clarification about what’s meant by ‘alternative access’ and say we support an underpass in place of the crossing.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to send the letter.