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Mayor Dave Writes - Government Rail Downgrade Plans Mean Bridge Works are All Pain, No Gain

March 31, 2019 8:24 PM

Bedford Railway Station SignIn his latest monthly column for the Bedford Borough Bulletin, Mayor Dave Hodgson has paid tribute to local road users' patience during Network Rail's ongoing Bromham Road Bridge works.

He also vows to keep making the case for better services for Bedford rail users in the face of the Conservative Government's downgrade plans, and strikes a positive note in looking ahead to the benefits the congestion-busting Transporting Bedford 2020 programme will bring.

Here's the full piece:

With Network Rail's part-closure of Bromham Road bridge well underway, local road users are demonstrating remarkable patience and resourcefulness.

The westbound closure (eastbound remains open in this period) continues until April 18th, and Network Rail's full closure of the bridge will come later in the year.

The disruption suffered by local road users is especially hard to stomach in light of the fact we're actually due to get a downgraded rail service after it's finished!

The Government is intent on almost completely removing Bedford from its historic place on the intercity rail network, and instead make it a stop on 'commuter-style' services between Corby and London, with changes required to get to or from anywhere north of Kettering.

I'm making the case against that, and I'm making the case to Network Rail to minimise disruption caused by their bridge works.

Longer term on our roads there's a more positive outlook, with our Transporting Bedford 2020 project involving congestion-busting works at key traffic hotspots. A number of the works are already underway, with improvements to come at key sites such as Cow Bridge and Ampthill Road, Clapham Road/A6, Britannia Road, Bromham Road/Shakespeare Road and more.

These works are designed to make a real, positive difference to the day-to-day experience of local road users. Plus, with rapid jobs growth in recent years far in excess of regional and national rates, we need to keep our roads moving if we are to keep attracting and retaining investment.

Less slow moving and stationary traffic will also be good for local air quality, as well as improving the roads for those on buses, on bikes and on foot.

We've got a record of delivering on major projects on time and on budget, such as the final section of the western bypass, and you can follow progress on these critical works at www.bedford.gov.uk/transportingbedford2020

Mayor Dave Hodgson