Council under fire as safety measures ‘have not made a difference' on Leighton Buzzard's Billington Road

'I’m worried it will take an accident for the council to react'

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 2:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 3:00 pm

A frustrated Leighton Buzzard man is urging Central Bedfordshire Council to make Billington Road “safer for drivers, pedestrians and residents”.

Mike James, 39, claims that since the LBO featured his traffic concerns last year, nothing has been done to address an ongoing problem with lorries driving up the road and exceeding the 7.5 tonne limit, as well as cars and trucks speeding.

Mike told the LBO that last summer CBC installed chicanes and crossings, widened the pavement and lowered the speed limit to 20mph. However, he claims that “no systems are in place” to monitor them.

Lorries photographed by Mike. He believes speed cameras and width restrictions should be in place.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” claimed Mike. “And I’m worried it will take an accident for the council to react - it could be children, someone, walking, an elderly person.

“Cars mount the pavements sometimes to get round the lorries, which are too big, and lorries have bumped up kerbs and damaged the concrete. People speed down the road and no-one knows who to give way to at the chicanes - it’s looked like they are going to hit each other.”

Mike has filmed lorry drivers behaving badly and has asked their companies to apologise, while he says he was even spat at by one driver.

Meanwhile, he claims the road is used like a “dragstrip” at night, and that when lorries drive over the crossings it makes them rattle noisily. In fact, he claims the traffic problem is so bad that his family is looking to move next summer. He also knows of others who have moved or are planning to move.

He added: “I’m trying to fight the cause but when the council isn’t bothered it’s hard.”

A CBC spokeswoman said: “We take road safety extremely seriously and are always concerned when we hear about speeding given the potential consequences.

"We introduced a series of safety measures along Billington Road. This included a 20mph speed limit and accompanying traffic calming features which we are monitoring and reviewing.

“Bedfordshire Police are responsible for tackling speeding offences, but we do work in partnership with them. We do urge all motorists to drive responsibly, appropriately to the conditions and within the law at all times.

“The powers to enforce weight restrictions will be transferred to all local authorities from February 2022. We will be working with our members to decide on priority sites across Central Beds.”