With my "Bedfordshire Highways Rep" for the Town Council hat on, I have been trying to piece my way through the things that are happening, and the correspondence I have had, with regard to the roadworks in Houghton Regis High Street.
Morrison Utility Services are a utility company doing work in the High Street for UK Power Networks. The Morrison name appears on some pedestrian barriers in the High Street area. The work for UKPN happens to be installing cabling for the Morrisons superstore currently being constructed. Information received today says that this work was needed to be in place prior to the main work commencing. A memo from UKPN states that that work will be completed in the next 2-3 days.
Even these works have resulted in some complaints, on Facebook, of long delays in the High Street this week.
Permission has now been given by the Highways Authority's agent (Amey) to allow UKPN to continue with their work next week. This will require three way lights in place of permanent lights in the first week of September, during off peak hours, and manually controlled all day. Being manually controlled it is hoped that this may work better than the non-manual lights do at present.
When the full blown road works begin in the High Street, as a consequence of the S278 requirements for the Morrisons superstore, the junction of High Street and Bedford Road will be changed to a roundabout and there will no longer be traffic lights. A 20mph scheme will be brought in for the High Street area to further improve traffic flows. Information about the scheme can be found here.
A date for the S278 road works in High Street, Houghton Regis has not yet been confirmed, but highways planners are mindful of the impact that the major roadworks in South Bedfordshire are having. The start date is not far away.
Meanwhile, traffic flows between Dunstable and Luton continue to be affected by works in Church Street, Dunstable which may still be closed on two further occasions in October, and Court Drive, Dunstable is likely to be one way only until approximately the end of October. Highway works planners say they are very mindful of the impact the works are having on Houghton Regis, and will continue to do all that can be done to help ease congestion through Houghton Regis in the coming months.