Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Clophill roundabout improvement scheme is shaped with the help of community feedback

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

We are thanking everyone – motorists, road users, and residents – who have contributed to the plans for the A6/A507 Clophill roundabout improvement scheme.

The scheme is set to benefit from £6.8million of government Levelling Up funding and will ease congestion at the busy junction and build capacity at the roundabout for the future by creating two lanes in and out on all four arms. In response to community feedback, it also features new crossings, footpaths for pedestrians, and reduced speed limits.

Consideration was given to the ‘do nothing’ option but as the junction is notoriously busy and traffic is expected to increase in the coming years, plus there is a need to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists across all four arms of the roundabout, the decision was taken to grasp the opportunity to move forward with the much-needed improvement scheme when government funding is available.

The scheme will now be discussed at a Traffic Management Meeting on Tuesday 29 November 2022 with a highways scheme consultation taking place as part of this process. Subject to approval at this public meeting, work could start in early 2023.

Councillor Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, said:

We want to thank everyone who took the time to attend a consultation and engagement event and shared their views on the proposed A6/A507 Clophill roundabout improvement scheme. We’ve been liaising with local residents about the plans for a few months and their views have helped shape our plans which will improve congestion at the roundabout but also make improvements for residents and cyclists too. This government-funded scheme will ease congestion, build capacity at the roundabout so it can cope with future traffic increases, provides much-needed road crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists on all four arms, and offers vital infrastructure improvements for the future of Central Bedfordshire. The scheme is part of our forward-thinking approach where we look at the whole picture to help make our area a great place to live and work.

The views received during the engagement stage earlier in the year helped shape the plans the council consulted on and, based on what people said during the consultation, we have again listened and made significant changes to the scheme where it is possible to do so and still deliver on the scheme’s core objectives – a requirement of the government funding for this project.

We heard the road safety concerns people raised about plans to replace the footbridge on the A507 eastern arm with a Toucan crossing and the plans for Toucans on the other three arms where there are currently no crossings. These signalised ground-level crossings are more accessible for people with mobility issues and support cyclists as well as pedestrians.

We revisited traffic modelling data but that showed to make the scheme work, by easing congestion and delivering the other benefits, the footbridge needs to be removed to reconfigure the roundabout, it’s the only way. However, given the community concerns, the plan is to reduce the speed limit to 30mph on the roundabout approaches. Streetlighting and appropriate signage will also make it clear these are 30mph zones for road safety purposes.

The traffic modelling data also highlighted there were time savings at the roundabout with the four Toucan crossings as they create gaps which in turn helps the traffic flow around the roundabout.

There were calls for the bus stop to stay on the A6 southern arm and this request is to be accommodated by moving the bus stop slightly further along the road so the approach can still be widened to create the needed two lanes in and out.

The scheme will benefit Central Bedfordshire and the wider region, road users, and residents now and in the future.