Light is shed on town centre ‘free-for-all’

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Central Beds Council and Beds Highways have installed new lighting and signage in Court Drive after the area was branded a ‘free-for-all’ by motorists.

Councillor Nigel Young said: “We appreciate that it will take time for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to get used to the new system and the idea that this is about everyone sharing the road space.

“We’ve listened to what residents have said and have worked hard to get the lighting fully installed to help drivers get used to the new layout. This was completed on 10 December. We will also add signage highlighting Courtesy Crossings, and further gateway signage at the entrance of Court Drive to show that the road will be a shared space scheme.

The council said that when the ‘shared space’ scheme is completed in January, the colour-coded road markings will be clear, but until then traffic cones will be used.

Cllr Young added: “Traditional road layouts which segregate the highway into areas for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists bring road users into conflict with each other when, for example, a pedestrian wants to cross a road that drivers see as ‘their space’.

“Shared space is about no one having exclusive rights or priority to any part of the highway so that everyone has use the same space cooperatively and show consideration for other road users.”

There are a number of schemes in operation across the country including the town centre ring road in Ashford, Kent.

Since 2008, when the scheme was put in place there has been a 41 per cent reduction in accidents in which people have been injured.