'We know how people are suffering': Town Council petition calls for Leighton Buzzard bypass to be made safer

Leighton-Linslade Town Council is submitting a petition that calls for a safety review of the Leighton Buzzard southern bypass, seen by residents as a "death trap".

By Jo Robinson
Friday, 17th June 2022, 5:17 pm
Updated Friday, 17th June 2022, 5:22 pm

The community was shocked and saddened when a 26-year-old father from Wing, Brandan Moriarty, was killed on the road in March, with a petition swiftly set up on Change.Org calling for action.

"All these accidents keep happening and NOTHING is being done about it. How many more horrific accidents, lives to be taken and families to be broken will it take for anyone to listen?" it asked.

However, because its author was anonymous, Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) was unable to accept the petition, despite it gaining over 3,500 signatures.

Flowers left at the scene of the fatal A505 bypass crash which claimed the life of Brandan Moriarty in March 2022

The Town Council has now taken matters into its own hands, and is submitting a new, valid, petition to the local authority, urging it to take action.

A Leighton-Linslade Town Council spokesman told the LBO: “The recent tragic events, which saw a young person lose their life on the Leighton Buzzard bypass, spurred the creation of a community led petition to request that CBC, as the highways authority, would review road safety at this particular location.

"Unfortunately, the well-meaning Change.Org petition which gathered over 3,500 signatures could not be accepted by the Highways Authority on the grounds that it was posted anonymously and, despite contact through the website administration, the petitioner has declined to come forward."

In accordance with the CBC constitution, a handwritten petition requires just 10 signatures for it to be recognised, so the new one, signed by the Town Councillors, will be valid.

The spokesman continued: "The petition, which echoes the 3,500 voices, seeks an urgent review of highway safety along the whole of the “single-carriageway” sections of the bypass.

"It is understood that preliminary works have already begun to reduce periods of standing surface water caused by flash flooding, whilst a review of the current accident statistics and possible traffic management improvements to reduce accidents will follow, supported by the petition.”

Councillor Ray Berry, the petition architect, told the LBO: "We know how people are suffering. The reason we have this petition is that we believe there have been too many accidents.

"It will be presented at the Extraordinary Traffic Management Committee on 29th June and I know [CBC] officers are seriously contemplating what can be done to make the road safer."

Indeed, it’s been claimed that an unofficial ‘third lane’ in the middle is used by traffic travelling in both directions for overtaking.

The new petition text states: "We, the undersigned, in our capacity as elected members of Leighton Linslade Town Council, and on behalf of both our own electorate and those of surrounding rural parishes, ask Central Bedfordshire Council, through the Traffic Management Committee, to conduct a full and in-depth review of the Leighton Buzzard Bypass over the entirety of its non-dualled length, particularly in the light of the number of recent traffic accidents following the establishment of the A5/M1 Link Road, which appear to be both speed- and driver-awareness related, one of which resulted in a fatality.

"For clarity, we make this request on the basis that an earlier petition, submitted on the Change.Org Website, achieved over 3,500 signatories from across Central Bedfordshire and Bucks, but could not be accepted by CBC as the original submission remains anonymous.”

What do you think of the bypass situation? Email your views to [email protected]