Monday, 3 April 2017

Get Bedford Moving Campaign

Get Bedford Moving Campaign

So the Borough Council is bidding for £millions for a scheme to address traffic and capacity issues along Ampthill Road? It is my conviction at least that this scheme will not cut congestion but will probably result in squeezing the cycle-pedestrian share paths to cycle lanes on a widened road-way? Much of this traffic is bound to and from the Retail Park at Kempston and what that needs is a station on the Bedford-Bletchley Railway with a cycle-footbridge linking Southfields Kempston with the Retail Park. This would give more options, open up the area to more footfall and spend but also create more parking spaces. The Retail Park's expansion is running out of land and more growth generates more road traffic and it needs somewhere to park. Meanwhile local residents get the emissions from exhausts on all sides and on that score alone the Council should be seeking means and ways to reduce car and other traffic by nurturing alternatives from walking, cycling and better public transport.

Buses deliver dollops of footfall and spend wherever they go and have bus stops for dropping off. Places like Black Tom, Tavistock Street, Prebend Street and the High Street do not have buses and those which serve the railway station are scant during the day.

These glaring gaps could be rectified and the smaller shops benefit from the new trade they would bring. Likewise pedestrianisation of the High Street and Midland Road West would extend the town centre footfall and flow and make for a better shopping experience as more buses bring more footfall and spend to a broader area. Pandering to the car means land used for ever more parking which cannot be used for housing or business purposes. All that traffic spills onto an ancient town road system which was never designed to cope with it all. 

It is ironic that Government can find £55 billion for HS2 and £3.5 billion for a new road but for poor old East-West Rail and Bedford-Northampton we have a 6 year wait for Oxford-Bedford and well into the 21st century for the other two, if creeping development allows a route to be recovered. Yet as Bedford, unlike Milton Keynes is not adjacent to a motorway, we need these rail links more to bring sustainable footfall and spend to our ailing town centre. Quangos at £millions are invisible, lack-lustre and a waste. We need locally elected, accountable and visible people able to bang the tables of Whitehall for a fairer deal for Bedford - to balance our transport and moral leaders can lead by voting with their feet than giving the signal car-lifestyles are justified. I would suggest not if they impinge on the reasonable chances of others and that is the equation which is yet to be squared. Join us on Facebook:

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