MP joins forces with Leighton Buzzard campaigners to make busy road safe for cyclists

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Action called for on dangerous road to support safe walking and cycling

The head of a charity which supports the national cycle network came to Leighton Buzzard to visit the section of Leighton Road which urgently needs segregated cycling and walking lanes.

Matt Barber, the head of partnerships in the East of England for Sustrans, was invited by South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous.

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The issue was raised by more than 200 petitioners at last month’s Central Bedfordshire Council meeting who called for a footpath along a busy stretch of road in Leighton Buzzard before “someone gets injured or worse”. The 207-signature e-petition seeks a segregated walking and cycling route between the town and nearby Stanbridge.

The charity is calling for more action on making the road saferThe charity is calling for more action on making the road safer
The charity is calling for more action on making the road safer

Local resident Tom Littlehales told the committee: “We petition CBC to implement the safe, traffic free, inclusive cycle route between Leighton Buzzard and Stanbridge, passing Leighton Buzzard Rugby Club. The unfortunate reality about this green link is that it stops after the Leighton Buzzard bypass on the outskirts of Stanbridge, which leaves the daunting option of walking or cycling along the fast-moving Leighton Road or a detour via Eggington and the A4012.”

Mr Selous said: "As a keen cyclist myself, I am very keen to see the safe extension of the national cycle network, all the way from the Leighton Buzzard bypass into the town itself. It is encouraging that Active Travel England are supporting this work along with Sustrans and I will work with Central Bedfordshire Council to try to make this cycle network extension a reality, so everyone can use the car less. Having cycled along this route myself, I have seen that it is very far from ideal."

Matt Barber said: “Andrew’s commitment to active travel, and his understanding of why we desperately need to enable more people to walk, wheel, and cycle was evident. We spent some time looking at issues on Stanbridge Road, particularly near the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, where there is no safe infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.

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“We, at Sustrans, are continuing to successfully work in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council. We can also confirm that we are currently supporting delivery of improved active travel infrastructure along Stanbridge Road. In the longer-term, we are interested in the potential for a high-quality and safe route all the way into Stanbridge.”

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