Long-awaited crossing for busy Biggleswade road is scheduled for Summer
A previously agreed scheme for Potton Road was scrapped
A long-awaited pedestrian crossing is scheduled for Potton Road in Biggleswade this summer, after a previously agreed scheme for the area was scrapped.
A toucan crossing nearby was approved after a statutory consultation in December 2019, according to a report to Central Bedfordshire Council's traffic management meeting.
"But doubts emerged over its precise location, during the detailed design stage," said the report.
"Pedestrians might opt to cross nearer to where two footpaths meet and avoid using the facility."
The new crossing will be almost opposite number 159 Potton Road.
Principal highways officer Lisa Wright said: "We've recommissioned a scheme for a zebra crossing, although we couldn't do speed data because of lockdown.
"There's been one slight accident at that location in last three years.
"There was a previous scheme agreed to include a toucan crossing slightly further up the road."
Biggleswade Town Council supports the proposals, but wants extra digital speed signs and double yellow lines at the junctions of Potton Road with Nursery Close and Stratton Way.
"There were four other responses, three broadly in support of the scheme and one objecting," she added.
"The objection relates to the proximity of a property to the crossing and the way the occupiers use their driveway, with the devaluation impact on their home."
Independent Biggleswade South councillor Hayley Whitaker described it as "a link to the Green Wheel and a crossing for the nearby school".
Referring to "the risk factors on the road", she indicated she would prefer a toucan crossing.
"But if we do go for a zebra crossing I have asked that it be raised to make users more visible to motorists," she said.
"We get constant complaints about speed along Potton Road."
Conservative Biggleswade North councillor Steve Watkins said: "The town council, ward members and parents have been campaigning for the crossing for several years.
"It will allow safe crossing in an area where we've seen several accidents.
"I'm pleased to see the yellow lines scheme will be consulted on, which has been requested by residents and the town council."
A temporary school crossing patrol will remain on the B1040 until the project is finished.
Conservative Biggleswade North councillor Ian Bond said he supports the current option as "the most appropriate solution to cater for the nearby Edward Peake Middle School and a bridleway".
He referred to drainage issues and water problems which need to be addressed, adding: "I've received assurance that officers will work to achieve the crossing during the summer holidays.
"The drainage issue is more complicated than it appears, so there are some unknowns to be dealt with."
Conservative Arlesey councillor Ian Dalgarno asked traffic officers whether the 30mph speed limit could be reduced to 20mph in future.
"I appreciate the comments about the raised table, and I'm aware of the drainage issues," he said.
"A safe crossing point outside your house enhances the area in which you live."
Team leader traffic management Paul Salmon replied: "The space we have is the challenge.
"The issue here is the footway and the proximity of the properties. But for a 20mph sign at school times there are certain parameters.
"It's the same for raising a zebra crossing. The kerb heights are so low there, which is also an issue for the drainage."
Councillor Dalgarno, who chairs the meeting, moved the scheme as set out, asking officers to consider a raised crossing and whether a variable speed limit is possible.
"This has been a long time coming and subject to a number of design changes," he added.