Contraflow ‘death trap’ may undergo changes

Church Road, Linslade contraflow
Church Road, Linslade contraflow

A controversial contraflow system on Church Road, Linslade, may be undergoing changes to pacify residents.

The system sees cyclists travel down the middle of the road to access Wing Road, whilst vehicles travel upwards in the opposite direction.

However, Central Beds Council are now considering marking an advisory cycle lane on the northern (right hand) side of Church Road and switch parking to the southern (left hand) side, as well as stopping vehicles turning left onto New Road and using it as a short cut to the train station.

The contraflow system has previously caused outrage, with the Central Linslade Residents’ Association complaining it was a ‘death trap’ after a collision between a cyclist and a driver in August, 2015.

CLRA chairman, Graham Quick, said: “We’ve always campaigned against the contraflow, believing it’s an accident waiting to happen.

“The proposed changes are not ideal, but at least drivers would see the cycle lane - there are hardly any markings at present. But I don’t see why we need a contraflow system at all. Cyclists can already use Ship and New Roads to access Wing Road.

“What’s more, with cars not able to use the road as a shortcut Old Road will also be congested.”

At the moment permit holders park on the right and there is public parking on the left. But Graham argues that this means there is little space for traffic in the road and cars end up half parked on the pavements to make room, leaving little pavement for pedestrians. With the proposed shift of the permit parking the left, he also worries that there will be a lack of public parking in the area.

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesperson said: “The proposed contraflow scheme was prompted by the local ward member who is keen to allay perceived safety concerns and to take the opportunity to improve the situation for other vulnerable users, including pedestrians placed at risk by obstructive footway parking.

“Should there be a decision to proceed we would expect a small net increase in on-street parking provision.

“The scheme would result in more traffic using Old Road, to the benefit of Church Road. Given the timing and tidal nature of flows to the station, we would not expect any discernible impact on congestion along Old Road. Whilst cyclists are free to use the adjacent road, the cyclists we have spoken with value the contraflow.

“These changes are subject to a statutory consultation.”