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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > April 2013 > Funding to improve Union St

Funding secured to improve one of the borough's busiest junctions

Cyclists in Bedford Borough can look forward to a significant improvement in cycling provision as the Council has successfully bid for £300,000 in funding from the Department for Transport.

 

The scheme will improve access and safety for cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles at the roundabout of Union Street, Clapham Road, Tavistock Street and Roff Avenue.

 

The funding has been awarded after Bedford Borough Council submitted proposals for an innovative new junction based on designs which have been widely adopted in the Netherlands in the last decade.

 

A recent survey found the junction is one of the busiest in the borough and is used by approximately 25,000 vehicles, 2,500 pedestrians (including 200 children) and 500 cyclists in just 12 hours.

 

When completed, the new junction will maintain the level of traffic while vastly improving the access for cyclists with clear on-road and off-road provision. Zebra crossings will also be installed on all four arms of the roundabout, providing safer crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists using the shared paths.

 

The design has already received support from Sustrans, a leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport as well as the Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire.

 

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “It is excellent news that we have won funding from the government to help us to continue to support cycling in Bedford Borough. 

 

“The Union Street roundabout is one of the busiest junctions in Bedford Borough with a significant number of accidents and these works will improve the junction for the 3,000 cyclists and pedestrians who use the junction every day.

 

“We are committed to improving cycling provision across Bedford Borough and this funding follows the £665,000 we received in 2012 as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund which is also delivering real improvements to cycling provision across the borough.”

 

Harpur Ward Councillor, Colleen Atkins, said: “After many years of campaigning for safety improvements at the Union Street roundabout and crossing, I am delighted funding has been awarded for an innovative new junction that will make a significant improvement to the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists."

 

Louise King, Councillor for Harpur Ward said: “Given the high number of serious accidents on this roundabout in the last ten years, this investment is vital to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians alike. We will continue to campaign for better and safer cycle routes throughout the area.”

 

Work is expected to start on the junction later this year.

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