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Tavistock Street


A lack of drainage causing flooding to homes and businesses and damage to the road on part of Bedford’s Tavistock Street will be tackled as part of major improvement work taking place later this month.

The work which will begin on 22nd February will see the 150m stretch of road between Peel Street and the Harpur Street/Broadway junction completely reconstructed and an entirely new drainage system put in place to service local homes and businesses.

The Council have been working with local residents and businesses to tackle recurring flooding in the area. The poor drainage, combined with the deterioration of the structure of the road, has caused damage to the surface and substructure of the road which needs to be addressed before it becomes unsafe for drivers.

Due to the extensive nature of the work the road will be closed throughout the work with diversions in place along Union Street, Bromham Road and Harpur Street for traffic using Tavistock Street to head through the town.

The conditions mean that the road will need to be completely rebuilt and resurfaced in a scheme which will take upto 14 weeks to complete, starting on 22nd February.

Please note that businesses will remain open as usual throughout the works.


Key improvements in the scheme include:

  • The introduction of a new drainage system to stop the flooding of properties and businesses  along the route and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.
  • Improving the road surface, removing the need for ongoing maintenance and regular pothole repair
  • New energy efficient LED traffic signals and LED street lights, reducing the annual running costs

Properties along the road closure have been contacted to make them aware.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Transport, said: “As a result of the total lack of drainage in this area of Tavistock Street the structure of the road has been severely weakened and flooding remains a major blight for those living and working locally.


“This is a safety issue requiring urgent work now to prevent damage to properties in the area and to avoid the possibility of a more serious carriageway failure in the future. This is one of our major town centre roads, which is heavily used by motorists and pedestrians so we have to get these repairs done and done properly.


“Nobody wants to have to cause this disruption but these works are vital, requiring major reconstruction and the installation of new drains.


“While much of Tavistock Street will remain open throughout the works, the section from Peel Street to Harpur St will be closed in order for the work to take place.  This will mean that it will not be possible to access the Broadway and the High Street from Tavistock Street during the works.  This is due to the amount of work being carried out and the depth of excavations needed to put in place the drainage and rebuild the road and pavements.


“I urge drivers to avoid the area if at all possible and follow the signed diversion routes which we are putting in place to reduce disruption.


“We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause but I would like to reassure local residents this work is absolutely vital and will prevent more serious work being needed in the near future, making the road safer for motorists and improving the situation for homes and businesses prone to flooding.”


To maximise productivity the contractor will be programming works so that they are working both days and nights at the site wherever possible, with noisy operations as far as is practicable limited to day times or early evenings.  No works are currently planned to be carried out on Sundays, but limited works may be carried out on Saturdays.   However, the traffic restrictions will remain in place 24 hours a day as the reconstruction of the road will prevent vehicles from using the road outside of these hours.


Full diversion routes will be signposted around the town centre and on major routes around the borough. Further closures will be required to complete the junction with Harpur Street but this work will take place overnight towards the end of the scheme.

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