South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous is supporting Hockliffe residents in their bid to solve the massive traffic problems on the A5 through the village.
Hockliffe Parish Council and residents have been raising their concerns with Highways England since March and they recently met with representatives in Hockliffe.
A public inquiry prior to the construction of the A5/M1 Link Road identified it was likely that there would be a daily increase of 3,000 vehicles through Hockliffe. residents say the 13,000 vehicles which travelled through Hockliffe on a daily basis, have now increasing to 16,000.
Last week Mr Selous welcomed Highways England designating the A505-A4146 as the official diversion route for roadworks on the M1 at the weekend.
He said: “This diversion of traffic from the M1 away from the village of Hockliffe is long overdue and extremely welcome.
“Recent studies have shown that it is in any case quicker for traffic to get up to Great Brickhill by going along the A505-A4146 then going up the A5. The A505-A4146 route also avoids going through any village or town.”
He hopes longer term there can be re-routing of traffic along A505 south of Leighton Buzzard and A4146 to the west of the town.
He said: “Long term I would very much like that to be the case and I will work with the Parish Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Buckinghamshire County Council and Highways England to make that happen.
“I think for this to be a permanent solution it will take a lot longer and it will take more work to achieve.
“I believe what is happening in Hockliffe is terrible, the problems for the residents are horrific, they are struggling to get out of their roads, there is the pollution from all the vehicles and also the problems with their homes.
“I will continue to work for Hockliffe residents to reduce the traffic problems they are experiencing”.
Hockliffe Parish Council will discuss the traffic problems at the Parish Council meeting on Monday, July 9.
Councillor Rachel Capstick said: “We had a meeting with Highways England on the 18th June and that was the Parish Council and a few residents who had contacted Highways England about the problems.
“It was a really positive meeting with them and we spoke about the new link road and how that has affected the traffic problems and the M1 closures affecting the traffic through the village.
“We will have more information about how we will move forward after the Parish Council meeting.
“It is important that we stay in contact with Highways England and Central Bedfordshire Council and work with them, ideally we would like traffic to go on the A505-A4146, the infrastructure is already there.”
Hockliffe Parish Councillor Richard Alexander witnessed a vehicle drive down the wrong side of the road to overtake a queue of traffic. He said: “The A5 through Hockliffe is not suitable for what it is being used for, their are far too many vehicles using it and at high speeds, there are hills and blind turns, it is not safe.
“The road is dangerous on the Tebworth turning, the Hockliffe turning and the turnings for farms.
“I think that stretch of the A5 through Hockliffe should be detrunked from the new roundabout to the Bletchley roundabout and the A505 and the A4146 become the new A5.
“When the M1 is closed and traffic comes through here the traffic is ridiculous, it is standstill. The video I posted online of the mini driving down the wrong side of the road to get past traffic was taken during a night closure of the M1.”
Highways England capital delivery team leader Anna Graham said: “Following feedback from the local community, we have started using the A505 and the A4146 as a diversion around Leighton Buzzard when the M1 is closed, instead of the A5 through Hockliffe.
“We will continue to work to raise awareness of this as the official diversion route with road users, and encourage drivers to use it rather than following their sat navs or taking an alternate route.”