Work begins to fix faults at Biggleswade's new £2.3million transport interchange

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Work to rectify the problems set to finish next week

Work is under way to rectify road surfacing problems at a £2.3m transport interchange at the railway station in Biggleswade.

The travel project was on the verge of completion last year only for difficulties to emerge during trials by buses using the new facility as part of the final preparations.

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The development is financed by the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), with an investment in Biggleswade of nearly £70m allocated to Central Bedfordshire Council.

Biggleswade transport interchange. Picture: Tony MargiocchiBiggleswade transport interchange. Picture: Tony Margiocchi
Biggleswade transport interchange. Picture: Tony Margiocchi

“Where the camber of Station Road lowered to meet the interchange road surface, the undersides of the buses were hitting the new road surface when the wheels were in the drainage channel,” according to CBC Independent Biggleswade west councillor Hayley Whitaker.

The local authority’s deputy leader said in a social media post: “The end may finally be in sight for the bus interchange project, following delays because of the camber issues first identified during the trials last year.

“This appeared to be a fault with the design and build contract, so work took place to identify the solution. We’re grateful to the bus companies which helped test the potential ideas.

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“The remedial works began this week and are due to run until Wednesday (January 17). Two-way traffic control is in place during this time to protect pedestrians and contractors while the improvements are ongoing.”

Councillor Whitaker advised residents to “keep that in mind” when heading towards the station. Once the work is complete, the bus companies will return to test the renovated interchange, she explained.

“Only then can the timetables be altered to take in the new stop. Buses which currently collect passengers in Market Square will continue to do so.

“The transport interchange isn’t funded by your council tax. These monies from the government’s HIF can only be used for this project.

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“The finance cannot be spent on anything else, such as potholes or the desperately needed step-free access at the station,” added councillor Whitaker.

“The next step will be to work with Independent Potton councillor and executive member for sustainability and climate resilience Tracey Wye to develop a viable bus strategy which meets the needs of residents. That’s a big task, but there’ll be more to come on that in the future.”

Biggleswade town councillor Madeline Russell told a town council meeting in September that a problem was being experienced where the cambers of two different roads meet in a dip.

When the front wheels of a bus go into the dip, it causes a part of the vehicle’s undercarriage further back to scrape the ground, she explained. Coaches with a higher suspension appeared to be unaffected.

“The contractor Galliford Try is planning to remedy the issue, although we don’t have a date for opening,” councillor Russell said at the time.