MP slams ‘dangerous’ Leighton Buzzard roads in Commons appeal for action on unadopted areas

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Lack of street lights, pedestrian crossings and pavements among highlighted issues

Unadopted roads in Leighton Buzzard are a blight for homeowners a local MP has told the House of Commons.

Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire, highlighted some of the issues facing homeowners who he says are paying double for services they are not receiving.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He told an adjournment debate on unadopted roads and the lack of facilities for new housing estates in the Commons on Thursday that the issue was making living conditions dangerous for residents.

Residents have complained about the unsafe roads - Photo Google MapsResidents have complained about the unsafe roads - Photo Google Maps
Residents have complained about the unsafe roads - Photo Google Maps

He said: “The lack of street lights, parking enforcement, pedestrian crossings, pavements, and speeding restrictions make living extremely dangerous at times for those residents. Unadopted roads are subject to surface drainage issues, leading to a higher risk of flooding, and mortgage lenders sometimes withdraw funds from prospective buyers if a road is not adopted.

“On Theedway in Leighton Buzzard, three street lights do not work—all close to an assisted living residence where many people have mobility issues—and there is no parking enforcement or road signage. All that is dangerous. In nearby Copia Crescent, one street light is on 24/7 while the other is broken. Local residents do not know which developer to go to for these issues to be fixed.

"In nearby Grebe Drive, Goldfinch Road and Fraserfields Way, residents report dangerous speeding, no traffic calming, no speed enforcement and churned up verges. One householder is having difficulty selling his property because his road is not adopted, so we are making people’s main asset more illiquid and reducing the ease with which they can move.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Properties in Clay Furlong and Claridge Close were sold in 2003 – when the first residents moved in – but nearly 20 years later, the roads have still not been adopted. That is simply not good enough.”

And with some residents paying for council tax and a service charge to a management company, he added: "Why is it that we require residents on new estates to pay full council tax while receiving very much less than full council services? Many residents are now paying twice for identical services.

"On the safety issue, are we going to let the situation continue like this until - God forbid - a child gets killed?”

"I really think it is entirely reasonable that the people buying those homes would think that these issues would have been sorted out by the developer with the agreement of the local authority. Does the Minister get the importance of these issues not just dragging on and on, and the need for quite swift resolution.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Selous called for the Department of Transport: “to take a lead on this issue and deliver significant improvement in how we provide roads on new estates with the associated facilities that are critical to prevent our constituents from being exposed to danger.”

In reply Transport Minister Lucy Frazer said: “In England, the Department for Transport has issued clear and simple guidance to councils to help them navigate some of the complexities surrounding new developments and the adoption, maintenance and upkeep of roads. They can use that guidance in those initial conversations with developers before a road is built, and long before they become major headaches for parties, not least homeowners themselves.

"Where loopholes have been exploited, councils have been lacking enforcement powers and homebuyers have found themselves powerless to challenge unfair bills, we are already changing the law to put things right.”

Has this issue affected you? Email [email protected]