(a) Further to the request made by Council on 25 April 2022, to receive and consider suggestions from Buzzcycles in respect of how the town council could support the endorsed Cycling Strategy (attached).
(b) To receive any updates arising from the resolutions passed by Council on 4 April 2022 in respect of:
i. bus user liaison (report attached).
ii. A505 bypass safety review by Central Bedfordshire Council.
iii. Liaison with Central Bedfordshire Council on options for future High Street traffic management.
(c) To consider any matters relating to highways/transport (if appropriate).
a) Buzzcycles Cycling Strategy
Further to the recent approval by Council of the Buzzcycles Cycling Strategy, the committee received proposals in respect of how the town council could support Buzzcycles in taking the strategy forward.
The Committee expressed support for the proposals but noted there was no revenue budget provision for this purpose and that external sources of funding might need to be sought.
A request was made for Buzzcycles to give proposals a numerical order of priority as this would be helpful. Proposals might be referenced when submitting comments and requests for S106 developer contributions on larger planning applications.
It was noted that most proposals were linked to town council owned parks or open spaces and therefore the Grounds & Environmental Committee would be best placed to take these forward.
(i) to note the proposals from Buzzcycles.
(ii) to thank the group for its work.
(iii) to retain the list for reference in future requests for S106 developer monies.
(iv) To ask officers to explore potential sources of funding for cycling initiatives and to bring to the relevant committee as appropriate.
RECOMMENDED to the Grounds and Environmental Services Committee:
i) To note the list of proposals from Buzzcycles in support of its Cycling Strategy.
ii) To work towards starting to implement proposals where possible.
b) Matters arising from discussion at Council on 4 April 2022
i) Bus user liaison: the Committee received a report regarding the possible creation of a bus user group, which would collect and collate user feedback to pass on to the pan-Bedfordshire bus user group being established by the three Bedfordshire local authorities. This was agreed to be a good starting point and thanks were expressed to the LB Society Transport Officer for his assistance.
- To note the report:
- To agree to and encourage the creation of a stand-alone bus user group whose purpose would be to raise local issues with the pan-Bedfordshire user group which includes representation from Local Authorities other user groups as well as public transport providers.
- To work with the Leighton Buzzard Society Transport Officer and up to 3 councillors to encourage and create a stand-alone bus user group.
- That the Town Clerk liaises with the Central Bedfordshire Council Public Transport Manager to understand what support it can offer in the encouragement and creation of local user groups as well as the frequency of the pan-Bedfordshire forum meetings.
- To use town council social media platforms as well as its bi-monthly parish magazine to raise awareness and encourage bus users to participate in the creation and thereafter participation of a bus user group.
ii) A505 safety review: the Committee noted that the local authority had been unable to act on the recently submitted resident petition due to the petitioner remaining anonymous. Significant efforts had been made to reach the petitioner to explain the issue but without success. To ensure this was taken forward, town councillors were in agreement to submit a further petition to ensure that the voices of the 3,500 signatories to the original petition could be taken into account. It was hoped that the additional petition could be submitted to the local authority next week. In the meantime, it was understood that some works had been undertaken to reduce the surface water flooding issue.
iii) High Street traffic: there had been no contact made by Central Bedfordshire Council to advance discussions on future traffic arrangements in the High Street. The committee agreed this was disappointing given that the clock was now ticking on the current ETRO. Central Bedfordshire Councillors advised committee of a report taken to the CBC Executive regarding the potential use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to prevent parking issues in a number of locations including the High Street on market days.
c) Other transport matters
The committee requested that a number of items be followed up with Central Bedfordshire Council, including: the trial of a timed crossing at the Lake Street/Bridge Street junction, poor visibility of road signs due to foliage, potential for introducing a 20mph speed limit on Vandyke Road, a very large pothole on Wing Road near The Ship and the collapse of a crossing by Lindler Court. The generally poor condition of roads and lack of visible white lines in Linslade was noted.
A councillor reported witnessing a recent near-miss accident at the towpath exit onto the canal bridge and it was noted that a report was awaited from the Canal & Rivers Trust on what action could be taken there to improve safety.