Update from the Parish Council regarding Clophill roundabout works
Residents may be aware that the Clophill roundabout is to be upgraded using “levelling up” money from the Government. Having studied the plans and suggested diversions it is our belief that the village will be used as a ‘Rat Run’ and may be overwhelmed with traffic for the period of construction which is planned to be around 14 months. To this end, the Parish Council (PC) has been engaging with Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) Highways Department since April last year.
CBC Highways seemed responsive to our requests for some form of traffic management to mitigate the potential issue for the village, however, after initial meeting things went very quiet. In January, this year a meeting was arranged with one of CBC’s Executive Members and representatives from the Parish Councils of Clophill and Maulden. Each PC raised concerns with the Councillor who stated that nothing was off the table and all suggestions would be considered to mitigate traffic issues. He also mentioned that the scheme had not gone out to tender yet and was unlikely to start until the summer. The Councillor agreed to meet us the following week to walk round the village and discuss the issues and potential ways that traffic could be managed.
This visit was quite productive and ended with us providing him with a list of our requirements. These were, in no particular order;
- Method to stop motorists damaging grass verges in High Street, preferably posts.
- Temporary zebra crossing in High Street near the Church
- Speed Cameras on Barton Road and Ampthill Road to deter motorists speeding away from pinch point in High Street
- Chicanes on High Street to slow down traffic.
- No right turn into Ampthill Road except for Local Traffic from A507
- Investigation into traffic management and possible road closure/one way system for Vicarage/Fir Tree/Church Rd rat run.
- Extension of 20mph speed limit to Ampthill Road and further along Barton Road.
- White lines extended the length of High Street on both sides to make the road appear narrower
To date, despite reminders we have had no acknowledgement of these requests.
Then, last week the bombshell hit, where CBC announced that work would start on a revised scheme on the 20th February, which has changed significantly from that which was consulted on at length. Details of the revised scheme can be found at https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/news/article/899/revised_clophill_roundabout_improvements_to_start
The Parish Council is extremely concerned by these developments and are seeking urgent answers to some very important questions. We feel extremely let down by this situation and completely disregarded as a Council and as a Village. We have engaged in good faith, from the start, in all manner of consultations. However, it would appear that all that effort was in vain and the situation leaves us both frustrated and extremely angry. There has been no consultation on the reworked scheme, or any mention of the proposed traffic management measures.
Please be assured we will continue to fight our corner and do our best for residents during the construction phase where there will be inevitable traffic disruption.