Cycle-Contra Flow For EastHill Rd About To Be Installed Despite Objections

Questions are once again being asked this week about exactly WHO was consulted about this  Contraflow Cycle lane in Easthill Road, Houghton Regis. The work is scheduled to be done this coming week.

It's a quiet one-way road where some clown at Central Bedfordshire Council has decided it would be good to have cycles going against the traffic flow because it would help children get to school. The school is a long way off. Hardly a cyclist is ever seen there. If they are they use the footpaths where hardly a pedestrian is seen. And if it is laid down as a cycle contra-flow cars won't be able to park on that side of the road, creating a problem for local residents.

The Town Council were very loosely consulted about a series of proposals from CBC officers involved with the Local Sustainable Transport Fund in October 2011. This particular part of their ideas wasn't recorded in the minutes of the P&L committee (see below), so HRTC councillors may not have known about it. However, I did come across a later Public Notice and made a personal objection  (see meeting ; mine are recognizable within page 27 of this report, and page 3 of this report

We discussed it on Facebook in October 2013.

HRTC Planning & Licensing Committee
31st October 2011 at 7.30pm
Mr P Cook and Mr S Lakin addressed the Committee and explained the purpose of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. £5 million was available to any transport authority submitting a successful bid. The spend period for the money was June 2012 to March 2015 and the bulk of the funds were for revenue spend. The fund was specifically for supporting local initiatives that addressed economic growth, cut carbon and boosted sustainable travel. The aim was to increase accessibility of town centres and local existing and planned employment areas, to make it easier to access skills and training and to tackle congestion by switching local journeys from car to other modes of travel.
It was recognized that the local issues were congestion, traffic volumes through residential areas (rat running), negative impact of HGV’s, access for people with buggies and wheelchairs on buses and access to employment, education and health.
The proposed solutions could be using shared space to make places more accessible for all road users, 20mph zones, lorry bans, improvements to public transport, improved pedestrian and cycling access to employment and health sites and promote sustainable transport in the schools (walk rather than use car).
Proposed infrastructure measures were improvements to the High Street (Morrison’s funded), bus links and facilities at stops, improvements to the National Cycle Route 6 with links to the High Street, Houghton Hall, Woodside, Townsend Farm Road and Kingsland and better signage.
It was reported that if the bid to the LSTF was not successful, local sustainable transport plans would still go ahead, but at a much slower pace.
Members were provided with copies of the presentation slides and asked to think about ways in which the Town Council could contribute to a Local Partnership Agreement and also what transport-based initiatives they would like to see incorporated in the plan. Some initial ideas were put forward, such as pull-ins at the bus stops on Windsor Drive, improvements to the left turn from Parkside Drive onto Park Road North at the Chequers roundabout and a mini roundabout at the junction on Parkside Drive along from the Chequers roundabout.
Mr Cook and Mr Lakin said they would be happy to return to a future meeting to answer any questions Members might have after consideration of the information received this evening.

So far as I have been able to ascertain, the specific items within that overall picture of what they wanted to do were NEVER brought before Houghton Regis Town Council, but were dealt with by Traffic Management meetings at CBC. Cllrs would only have been involved at CBC if the public made objections after reading Public Notices. I, and several others made objections to the Contra-flow at Easthill, but the Cllrs at that meeting sided with the report writer, Jane Moakes.

CBC Traffic Management meeting Wednesday, 11 September 2013 4.00 p.m.
Background papers:

Cllr P Nigel Aldis Member In attendance Cllr Anthony D Brown Member In attendance Cllr Ian Dalgarno Member In attendance Cllr Peter Hollick Member In attendance Cllr David Jones Member In attendance Cllr Julian Murray Member In attendance Cllr Roger B Pepworth Member In attendance Cllr Miss Ann Sparrow Member In attendance Cllr Brian J Spurr Member Present Cllr Budge Wells Member In attendance Cllr J Nigel Young Member In attendance 
Houghton Regis – Consider an Objection to a Proposed Raised Zebra Crossing and two raised uncontrolled crossings In Parkside Drive and consider objections to a proposed Contraflow Cycle lane in Easthill Road 
This report seeks the approval of the Executive Member for Sustainable Communities – Services for the installation of a raised zebra crossing and two raised uncontrolled crossings on Parkside Drive and for the implementation of the proposed cycle contraflow on Easthill Road, Houghton Regis.
Decision:That the proposals to install a Raised Zebra Crossing and two Raised Table Uncontrolled Crossings with red imprint on Parkside Drive and the proposed Contraflow Cycle lane in Easthill Road be agreed as advertised apart from the addition of a green high friction surface cycle lane, with white lines around the outside, along Easthill Road to further highlight the route to motorists.


Back in January 2012, some crucial information here.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 10.00 a.m.
"Member Involvement in the Preparation of Planning and Related Strategy Documents " - To consider future working arrangements for Member involvement in the plan preparation process and related housing and transportation strategy documents.
  From the minutes it appears that members were concerned about the amount of time that would be used in working up the documents, and looked to try to save time by less consultation. Independent Cllr, Adam Zerny is singled out in the minutes "Councillor Zerny stated that meetings of all Task and Finish groups should be open to the public to inform discussion and provide evidence."

Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee (meeting)
Date: 06 March 2012
Subject: Local Transport Plan Scheme Prioritisation Framework 
LINK to pdf file


On 4th December 2012, the TMC meeting heard an objection to the crossing at Sundon Rd, but overturned the objection. IT had been argued that the humped crossing would generate noise. 

*This article updated 30/3/2016 to change deep links to the documents on a revamped CBC website.