Category: Transport

Network Rail engineering work will affect Thameslink and East Midlands services this weekend

Network Rail is continuing with work on a £1.5 billion upgrade of the Midland Main Line which will improve journeys for all those using the route.

On 4/5 and 11/12 July, work will take place to commission and test two new substations on the route between Bedford and Ampthill.

This work is part of the Midland Main Line Upgrade and will provide the power needed to allow more trains to run in the future.

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Thameslink staff embrace the outdoors in support of Autism Bedfordshire

Staff from across the Thameslink network joined forces to run, walk, jog and cycle throughout the month of June to raise money for Autism Bedfordshire.

Hailed ‘Challenge 50,’ each fundraiser had to complete 50 kilometres of their chosen form of exercise. With usual community events on hold due to the pandemic, Bernie Lee – station manager for Bedford, Flitwick and Harlington – thought it was more important than ever to raise awareness and vital funds for the charity and is thrilled that the team have beaten their £1,000 target

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Getting ready for the new world of travelling by rail

Thameslink shares its top tips for those who need to head back onto the trains

As we begin to see the gradual ease to lockdown, the prospect of taking on the ‘new world commute’ for those who must travel by train, could seem a little daunting.

People should still consider whether their journey is necessary and wear a face covering if travelling. However, this may make many travellers nervous about the prospect of heading onto public transport in the future.

To help ease customer concerns, the key workers from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) have come together to create a short video.

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​Abandoned Thameslink bikes restored for Bedford Hospital staff

Around 30 NHS key workers at Bedfordshire hospitals are now travelling to work on free bicycles, thanks to a scheme to renovate abandoned bikes. The scheme is being run by Thameslink, Luton Council and Sustrans, the charity promoting cycling and walking.

The aim was to help hospital staff get to and from work while maintaining social distancing and getting some valuable extra exercise. Fittingly the project has completed its first batch of bikes in June, National Bike Month.

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Thameslink advises passengers: Avoid busy times of day and wear a face covering

People thinking of using the train to go shopping and for leisure trips as lockdown eases on 15 June, are being reminded to avoid the morning and evening peaks to help keep the railway clear for key workers and others who need it most.

Those who must travel by train should follow these clear guidelines:

From 15 June, as a passenger, you must wear a face covering
Try to avoid the busy times of the day between 06.30 and 09.00 and 16.00 to 18.00
Book tickets online and use contactless payments wherever possible
Please keep your distance
Carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands before and after travelling

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Highways England to launch further Black Cat Roundabout consultation

The further consultation into the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvement scheme will outline the design refinements that include changes to the constructions methods and environmental impacts of the project.

The changes follow a combination of feedback received from 925 responses during the last consultation held in summer 2019 and new technical information and engagement with the local community and organisations.

The proposed A428 improvement scheme will see a new 10-mile dual carriageway built linking the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the Caxton Gibbet junction in Cambridgeshire.

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Bedford Borough: A6 southbound to be closed overnight for bridge repairs at Oakley

From Thursday 18 June 2020, Oakley Road Bridge will be closed 24/7 and the A6 southbound between the Clapham High Street junction and Bedford will be closed overnight for up to seven weeks to carry out vital bridge repairs.

This major piece of work has been in the planning for a long time, and after being damaged by a vehicle hitting it at high speed, the repair works are required to ensure the bridge is safe for the long-term future.

During these works, the bridge will not be able to support the weight of vehicles using it so it will need to be closed for the duration. A signed diversion route will be in place via Highfield Road. The footway over the bridge will remain open throughout the works.

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Central Bedfordshire residents encouraged to get on their bikes

Central Bedfordshire Council is working alongside Love to Ride this Bike Month to get more people to choose cycling as part of their daily travel and exercise and encourage others to try it too.

There is also the chance to win £500 towards a new bike if you sign up to the Love to Ride free event. It doesn’t matter if you ride every day or haven’t been on a bike in years, you just have to set yourself a goal and achieve it – it’s that simple.

If you win, Love to Ride will also give £500 to either the Bikes for Key Workers or the Community Support initiatives.

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Drivers granted 7 month photocard licence extension

A new EU regulation automatically extends licence from the date of expiry

Drivers with a photocard driving licence due to expire between 1 February and 31 August 2020 will be granted a 7 month extension from the date of expiry the DVLA has announced today (4 June 2020).

This will help drivers to make necessary journeys without having to get a new photograph to renew their licence.

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Driver clocked at 104mph in Bedfordshire 40mph zone

‘Lockdown speeding’ has become a very unwelcome by-product of the Government’s fight against coronavirus. So says the RAC, who sent a freedom of information (FOI) request to all British police forces.

The data found that 20 police forces caught their worst offenders travelling at speeds in excess of 100mph.

The worst speeder in the first three weeks of the lockdown was caught in West Yorkshire driving at 151mph on the M62 motorway – 81mph over the speed limit. This was 11mph faster than the next fastest recorded which was 140mph on the A14 in Suffolk.

Six forces – The Met, Northamptonshire, Gwent, Staffordshire, Kent and Humberside – all caught motorists driving at speeds in excess of 130mph.

The highest speed seen in a 40mph limit was 134mph on the A10 in North London. In Bedfordshire, the highest speed was in a 40mph limit, here the driver was clocked at 104mph on Airport Way in Luton.

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