Thumbs up for bridge control

Two historic bridges will soon have traffic lights.

Nearly 500 villagers from Blunham and Tempsford petitioned Central Beds Council for lights at the twin bridges that lie on Tempsford Road between the two communities.

The petition, which was signed by 497 people, was submitted by Blunham Parish Council with the assistance of Tempsford Parish Council.

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At a meeting of Central Beds Council’s traffic management committee councillors agreed that the signals will be included in the 2013 to 2014 structures capital programme.

It will cost around £115,000 but is thought that this will be offset by not having to pay to repair the bridges when people crash into them.

Villagers also found it inconvenient that the bridge had to closed for repairs fairly frequently.

Adrian Besant, chairman of Tempsford Parish Council, said: “They’ve had numerous cars hitting them and because they are listed they have to repair them with original material.

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“Blunham Parish Council spoke to us at Tempsford and we were happy to add to that petition.

“We asked local people to sign and a lot of people did.”

There have been six collisions causing slight injuries in the last five years.

Extensive traffic management has to be put into place every time the bridges are repaired and so the typical cost for repairing damage from a minor crash is £5,000.

The bridges cannot be replaced as they are scheduled ancient monuments.

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One of the bridges is also in a fairly weak condition so without traffic control it would need to be strengthened soon.

Council officers ruled out priority signs because drivers cannot see the other side of both bridges clearly enough.

The road between the two bridges will need to be resurfaced.

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