To review the Central Bedfordshire Council report dated 24 January 2022 on Leighton Buzzard town centre traffic orders (attached), to be presented to the CBC Traffic Management Meeting on 1 February 2022 and to consider next steps.
Council received a copy of the officer report being presented to the Central Bedfordshire Council Traffic Management Meeting on 1 February 2022 in respect of the temporary pedestrianisation of the High Street and the temporary traffic order relating to Lake Street. Council received a document analysing the key points of the report and a proposed Motion for consideration from Councillor S Owen, seconded by Councillor R Goodchild.
A number of points were proposed as a representation from the town council to the Traffic Management Meeting on 1 February.
Significant discussion took place with a range of views being expressed and a recognition that this was a complex issue with many factors requiring consideration. There was agreement that further discussion and work was needed in order to develop a viable plan for the future of the High Street which would be beneficial to all users.
RESOLVED to suspend Standing Order 3 (x) for 15 minutes to allow completion of the agenda item.
Following discussion, it was proposed that each part of the Motion be voted upon separately.
RESOLVED that the Town Council requests the Town Mayor to present the following comments to the Central Bedfordshire Council Traffic Management Meeting on 1 February 2022:
“LEIGHTON BUZZARD TOWN CENTRE TRAFFIC ORDERS (Item 5 on agenda for 1 February)
Leighton-Linslade Town Council:
a) suggests that a 12 month ETRO be put in place for the High Street, to allow time for consideration of future options.
b) supports the recommendation to return buses to the High Street, using the existing High Street bus stops, along with the resulting necessary move of the taxis back to Market Square, in order to reverse the drop in bus usage and its effect on High Street footfall
c) supports the report’s intention to review the adequacy of facilities i.e. seating and shelters at both the High Street and West Street bus stops
d) asks CBC to permit bus usage of the High Street for 5 days a week, i.e. excluding Tuesday and Saturday market days
e) asks CBC to ensure that the traffic signage in Lake Street during the ETRO is clear and adequate
f) urges CBC to commit to effective management of public compliance with the new ETRO to avoid the flouting of the current ETRO
g) proposes to CBC that the two councils work together during a 12 month ETRO trial period to formulate some strategic options for the future functioning and ambience of the High Street (including pedestrianisation options) that can then be consulted upon with local residents and businesses and other interest groups including the bus companies and cyclists.”
Two parts of the proposed Motion were not carried:
- asks CBC to restore all bus services other than on Tuesdays and Saturdays to the High Street to avoid passengers, particularly older ones, having to walk between the High Street and West Street stops if they are using local and through bus services for a journey.
- asks that blue badge holders be allowed to use any of the High Street parking places (not just the marked disabled spaces) for the same 12-month trial period.