St Mary's Street closure - Frequently Asked Questions and Info
Throughout the repair works on St Mary's Street this page will
continue to be updated to bring you the latest progress on these
major works which are having an effect on town centre traffic.
Further down, you can find an overview of the works and some
frequently asked questions.
Week 6 update:
During the last week the Contractor has completed the initial
carriageway works and has been installing the new combined
kerb/drainage system on the southbound channel. During the
next week the Contractor will complete installation of the
kerb/drainage system and will be resetting the slab paving behind
the new kerbs on the eastern footway. Works will be
undertaken on Sunday to adjust several manhole covers in the
carriageway so that they are at the correct level for when the
carriageway is resurfaced on Sunday 20th. The works
programmed on Sunday will not start until 1pm so that the
Remembrance Sunday events are not affected.
Footway Works on St. Paul’s Square (South)
The footway works at St. Paul’s Square are nearly
completed. The remaining section outside the Magistrate’s
Court is to be carried out on Sunday 20th November (to be
We are still experiencing some of the issues with people making
illegal manoeuvres from Cauldwell Street into Cardington Road and
have adjusted the traffic management to try to overcome this as
much as possible. The police have been informed and are
making regular patrols.
Upcoming Road Closures on Sundays
There are some works which will require a full closure of the
road in order to carry out operations safely. Currently 3
full road closures are programmed on Sundays in November (13th
(after 1pm), 20th and 27th) to carry out the following:
Adjusting chamber covers
the final surface course on St Mary’s Street
installing road markings and traffic loops
Please note that these works are weather dependent.
Work starts on St Mary's Street at 7am on Monday 3rd October and
lasts for 8 weeks.
St Mary’s Street, between the junction with Cauldwell St and
Duckmill Lane is in serious need of repair.
When the former County Council last repaired the road they did
not tackle existing drainage problems and simply improved the road
surface. As a result the ongoing drainage problems have weakened
the structure of the road causing severe surface problems and
leaving an unacceptable risk that the road will actually
The surface of the road may not look particularly bad but
underneath the top surface there are serious issues which mean the
road is a high risk of failure. It is therefore vital work takes
place now to rebuild the road and ensure it is safe for future
What are we doing?
In order to repair the road to a high standard and ensure the
new road surface lasts for years to come, it is necessary to
completely rebuild the road. This means removing 500mm (nearly 2
feet) of tarmac and foundations and then rebuilding the road back
up to the current level.
We are also providing new drainage on the eastern side (side of
the Kings Arms pub) of the carriageway. We will also be
reconstructing the eastern footpath.
Finally, we will be making minor alterations to the traffic
island at the junction with Cauldwell St to prevent motorists
illegally ‘cutting’ across St Mary’s Street to travel down
Cardington Road from Cauldwell Street.
What does this mean?
St Mary’s Street will be closed northbound (heading into
town and towards St Paul’s Square) from the junction with Cauldwell
Street. This means the town bridge will be closed to traffic
heading into town. No vehicles will be allowed to turn left at the
Cauldwell St and St Mary’s Street junction.
St Mary’s Street will remain open southbound (heading away from
the town centre) but will be reduced to one lane.
The working hours of this project are 7am to 7pm. Whenever
possible the Council aims to open roads to traffic outside of the
site working hours. However, that is not possible with this scheme
because the excavations will be too deep for vehicles to drive
Diversions will be signposted around the town centre and on main
routes towards the town.
to view the suggested diversion route (Note: you can zoom
in or out of the image by holding down CTRL and pressing + or - on
the number keypad on your keyboard)
Changes to bus services
Stagecoach Services 71, 72, 73 and 74 will divert inbound
via Longholme Way, The Embankment, Newnham Road, Mill Street and
High Street to St. Pauls Square where they will follow the normal
line of route to the bus station. As a result, these services will
not serve Rope Walk, Kingsway or Bedford College bus stops.
Outbound services are not affected.
All other services will divert inbound via Prebend Street and
Midland Road to the Bus Station. The bus stops outside Borough
Hall, Bedford College, the Magistrate's Court and Pilgrim's House
will not be served by these services during the closure. Passengers
for these stops will need to alight at either Britannia Road,
Kingsway or Midland Road. Outbound service are not affected.
Why is the work not happening overnight?
Working overnight does allow the Council to minimise disruption to
traffic and is the approach taken recently for the major works
on Goldington Road. However, the depth of excavations required for
St Mary’s Street mean the road cannot be reopened outside of the
working hours. It is therefore better value for money and is less
inconvenient for local residents to work during the daytime.
Why is the work happening now?
These works need to be scheduled in accordance with other major
projects happening in and around the town centre, such as those on
Goldington Road and Dame Alice Street.
By carrying out the works now we are able to get the work done
before the peak Christmas period. The western pathway also needs
some repair work. This will be done in the New Year in order to
minimise disruption around Christmas.
Where can I find the latest information?
This page will be updated throughout the project with the latest
progress and information. You can also follow the Council's
official Twitter feed http://twitter.com/#!/bedfordtweets (you
will need to sign in to get the latest updates).