Transport strategy

Highways and transport guidance

To support the delivery of our Local Transport Plan, we have put together some guidance documents. A guidance document covers a specific area related to highways and transportation. For most of the subject areas there is usually government legislation that we must adhere to.

Each guidance document sets out our approach to the subject area. This approach is intended to ensure consistency in the way that the subject area is managed, whether that be via a request, as part of a highway improvement scheme or as part of a developer led scheme. Where relevant, each guidance document will include an assessment form or assessment criteria.

Speed indicator devices (SIDs)

We have several speed indicator devices (and older style vehicle activated signs) on our network. We frequently receive requests for new signs to be installed. The Speed Indicator Devices Guidance Document looks to better manage the existing signs that we already have on our network. It also sets out how we intend to manage requests for new signs, to ensure that new signs are installed in the most appropriate locations where there is a proven issue with excess speed.

The guidance document includes an assessment form, that can be used to identify the suitability of a speed indicator device, whether that be to assess if an existing sign is still required or when a request is received for a new sign.

As part of our response to the Sustainability Plan, all new signs will be solar powered. This will help to reduce our electricity consumption, and in most cases will make the sign installation more cost effective as ducting, cabling and an electrician's time isn’t required.

View speed indicator devices guidance

Speed management

The intention of this guidance document is to achieve consistency in setting speed limits, whether that is because of a request to change a speed limit, a highway improvement scheme, or a development.

A speed limit should be based on the function and nature of the route, taking into consideration national standards and guidance (DfT Circular 1/13 Setting Local Speed Limits), which gives clear descriptions on characteristics that should be expected for each speed limit. The guidance document includes an assessment criterionand sets out how we prioritise requests to manage speed. 

View speed management guidance

Road safety audit

The road safety audit process commonly used throughout the UK is based on National Highways standard GG119 (formally Highways England). GG119 is the only recognised industry standard for road safety audits in the UK. It was formulated specifically for the road network that National Highways is responsible for, which is predominantly trunk roads and motorways. GG119 does not directly fit with the type of highway improvement schemes that are delivered in Central Bedfordshire, and there is no nationally recognised equivalent standard for road safety audits for local authorities to follow.

The aim of this guidance document is to ensure consistency in road safety auditing throughout Central Bedfordshire, and to ensure that every scheme has an appropriate level of documented safety check. This guidance document sets out the process for completing road safety audits for anyone carrying outhighway improvement works in Central Bedfordshire. For developers it is a requirement that the full road safety audit process is followed, wherever a scheme is linked to planning permission. This helps those involved in the planning process to determine whether a proposed development is feasible or not. For schemes designed by us, or a design contractor working on our behalf, the guidance document sets out when a proposed scheme requires a road safety audit.

This is based on the type and size of the scheme (based on the estimated construction value).

Larger schemes (with an estimated construction value of £100,000+) should follow the full road safety audit process.

For some types of schemes, it is recommended that a combined stage 1 and 2 road safety audit is completed (for schemes up to a value of £100,000). The types of schemes chosen for this category are where the proposed scheme is likely to change driver behaviour.

For lower value schemes, that have less risk associated with them, a designer’s safety check has been formulated. This is where the scheme designer completes a self-check assessment.The types of schemes thiswould typically apply to are proposed schemes where the estimated construction valueis less than £10,000, or a higher value where the scheme involves implementing multiples of the same item. The types of schemes included in this category are likely to have a minimal impact on driver behaviour.

Template forms are also included with the guidance document, for each stage of the process.

View road safety audit guidance

Pedestrian guardrails

Over time, pedestrian guardrails have commonly been installed in several locations throughout Central Bedfordshire, when perhaps in some cases they may not now be necessary. We continually implement schemes to improve road safety, including reducing speed limits and introducing traffic calming, particularly in urban areas where pedestrian guardrail is often installed.

Our priority is to encourage walking and cycling for short journeys over car use; pedestrian guardrails can, in some cases, create a physical barrier for pedestrians and increase the length of a walking route. Unnecessary pedestrian guardrails can have a negative impact on the aesthetics of a street. They can also restrict access for pedestrians who need more space, such as those that use a mobility scooter or wheelchair, or those with young children in a pushchair.

The necessity of pedestrian guardrails (or not) is subjective; this can make it difficult to justify when they should be removed or when they should remain or be installed. This document looks to achieve consistency in the implementation of pedestrian guardrails throughout Central Bedfordshire, taking into consideration national standards and guidance (LTN 2/09 Pedestrian Guardrailing DfT, 2009).

This guidance document looks at the different locations where pedestrian guardrails are commonly located. It encourages those considering the installation or removal of pedestrian guardrails to understand the safety concern (or perceived safety concern) and to think about whether an alternative solution would be more appropriate. Resolving one issue should not result in another being created, such as a restricted footway for pedestrians. The document includes an assessment form, so that decisions can be documented.

View pedestrian guardrail guidance