Roadworks as part of Transporting Bedford 2020 By Kirill AdobeStock_172838052

Works paused due to social distancing guidelines but a new way of working has been agreed

Bedford Borough Council (BBC) has announced that the works on Britannia Road will restart next week. This is part of the Transporting Bedford project.

The project is to deliver improvements to the congestion hotspot, which links two major roads (Ampthill Road and Kempston Road) by the South Wing of Bedford Hospital.

BBC said that so far a host of underground utilities have been moved, and the widening works on the eastern side of the road have been completed.

When the project had to be paused due to the coronavirus outbreak, works were ongoing to create a new lane going north towards Kempston Road and to make changes to the road junctions. These works are now set to be restarted.

With the introduction of social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus the decision was made by the contractor, with the Council’s agreement, to pause works until they could safely be restarted.

Since then, options have been explored and a new way of working has been agreed which will allow the crews to get back on-site while staying safe.

This will mean that some of the works that would have be done at the same time, will have to be separated to keep the crews safe so the project will take slightly longer to complete than previously estimated.

This, in addition to the pause in works, means that the contractor is now expecting this project to be complete and the road re-opened this summer.

Cllr Charles Royden, portfolio holder for Transport said:

“I am really pleased we are able to get this project up and running again. Anyone who regularly drives in this area knows how congested it can get, and these works to improve the junctions, and get traffic moving better will make a real difference to people’s day-to-day lives.

“We have been working with Bedford Hospital through these works, and I would like to thank them, all their staff, and all road users in this area for their patience as we finish the final stages of these improvements works.”

The Transporting Bedford project is an £18million investment to ease congestion and make roads safer for all users.

It is funded by both Bedford Borough Council and £15.5 million from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Local Growth Fund. It represents the largest ever investment in Bedford’s roads.