Transport

Background/Objectives

 

Interpretation and Analysis

Some questions provided movement information only:

Where do you go to Work or Study?

These results show that most people’s place of work is Bedford (21%) with a further 14% working in nearby villages. 10% of residents work in Bromham whilst 29% do not work at all. A significant number of people travel long distances around the UK with a few residents even working abroad.

How do you go to Work or Study?

These results show that over 74% go to work solely by car. Of those who work in Bedford 86% go by car (driving 69%, as a passenger 17%) with just 5% going by bus. Of those working in Kempston 90% go by car (driving 88%, as a passenger 2%). Of those who work in London 48% use a car followed by a train and fewer than 3% use a bus followed by a train.

Encouraging bus use and ideas like car sharing could lead to a significant reduction in traffic volume.

Speeding

Speeding is clearly perceived as a problem and Fig. T3 highlights the local areas of concern .

Respondents were able to give multiple answers and it comes as no surprise that the main thoroughfares of Village Road (42% of responses), Stagsden Road (31%), and Northampton Road (26%) come top of the list. It is worth noting that speeding was not thought to be a problem by over 30% of respondents. Very few places escape a mention in the ‘other’ section. You might expect that people would vote for where they lived but the vast majority of responses came from all over the village.

These results allow us to prioritise any possible action that needs to be taken.

There are many possible solutions to speeding. Cameras, speed bumps, rumble strips, chicanes, raised pedestrian crossings and alternate priority sections are options. Lower speed limits for more minor roads can help. Some villages purchase a share in a speed camera and report registration numbers to the police on a regular basis. Offenders receive a warning letter. We are taking advice on these matters and consulting with Highways Authorities, Borough Council and Police

Parking

Parking is also a problem in some areas.

Parking Location

Again respondents were able to give multiple answers and the areas of highest incidence are Molivers Lane/Village Road junction (49% of responses), Grange Lane (36%) and Grange Lane/Village Road junction (31%). Again it is worth noting that 22% of respondents think there is no parking problem. As with speeding, people voted from all over the village not just from ‘my back yard’.

There are many areas which will need to be prioritised.

The main Quenby Way parking issue is at the junction with Stagsden Road which is the only entrance to the estate. This estate has over 300 homes so restricted access for emergency vehicles could end in tragedy. The majority of respondents who express this concern naturally did come from the estate.

The lower school start and stop times present a temporary parking hazard, particularly in Grange Lane. We would seek to encourage ‘walking crocodiles’, possibly staggered timing.

Some commented on the questionnaire that drives remain empty whilst cars are parked on the road. Encouragement to park in the drive could produce a simple no-cost improvement in some areas. Parking on grass verges and pavements is also a problem in some roads. The Parish Council has a policy of warning persistent offenders which may lead to further action being taken. Double yellow lines are possible in some areas but may just move the problem further along the road. We are taking advice on these matters and consulting with the Highways Department of Bedford Borough Council and the Police

Buses

How Often do you use the Bus Services?

It is interesting to note that 76% of respondents either never use the bus or use it less than once a month. This has been a common finding in other villages.

Where do you go to on the bus?

From Fig. T6 it can be seen that the majority of residents who use the bus, use it to go to Bedford (92%). The next most popular destination by bus is Milton Keynes at 36%. The third most significant destination is Northampton with 19%, which proves that large towns are favoured destinations. If there were more choices of direct destinations by bus from Bromham it is possible that Cambridge and Oxford would also feature as a well-used destinations.

What would encourage you to use the buses more?

We are liaising with the bus companies to try to get improved bus services to serve Bromham.

In particular a regular stop for the X5 bus would make a big difference. Using the information we have we can demonstrate the potential. About 5% of respondents go to work in Milton Keynes and almost all of them drive. 36% of those who travel by bus go to Milton Keynes. Oxford and Cambridge would also be more accessible.

65% of respondents said that more frequent services would encourage them to use bus services more frequently, followed equally by longer operating hours, lower fares and better display of timetables. A timetable on the Parish Council website is possible. There is a demand for buses from Bromham to stop at Bedford train station.

Lower fares are a prickly problem due to the fact that so many of the existing fares are concessionary.

Summary and Conclusion

 

We are liaising with local authorities and the police, using the detailed data we have and this represents the way forward. It is no good pressing for the impossible. Prioritisation with sensible time scales and budgets should move the process forward smoothly. We will use the Planning For Real data for more specific information.

The bigger picture of the A428/A6 link and the impact of the western bypass need to be considered.

This Action Group was set up to deal with transport issues. Clearly Bromham suffers issues of speeding, parking and limited bus use.

The questions were developed to gauge strength of feeling and find location specific problems in order to prioritise our actions. After gathering information from Planning for Real events at the Bromham Show and Apple Day together with canvassing of local groups we wanted to know where people worked and how they travelled there. We wanted to know residents’ thoughts on speeding and parking within the village together with information on how much they use the buses and what would make residents use buses more. The objective is to make the already desirable village of Bromham a safer and more pleasant place to live.

The bridge is not part of this process but it is of course one of the access roads into and out of the village. Previous questionnaires conducted by the Parish Council revealed that 68% of respondents were in favour of keeping the bridge open both ways. Of those who voted for total or partial closure, two thirds preferred to keep it open one way.

Speeding and volume of traffic have long been issues in the village. Village Road is notorious as a ‘rat run’. There are numerous possible solutions but we are bound by what the Highways Department of Bedford Borough Council say can be done. The Parish Council was not in favour of the traffic calming scheme, involving chicanes and prioritisation, suggested by the late County Council for Village Road. There were various reasons why the small bridge at the bottom of Village Road could not be ‘calmed’.

Parking on the road has long been a source of irritation. This can mean restricted access, delayed journey times and sometimes being housebound because of a blocked drive.

In common with many other villages bus service provision is poor and therefore usage is fairly low. Increased bus use could lead to fewer cars on the road.

We are seeking guidance from highways authorities and the police as to what is and is not possible. We are liaising with the bus companies to address the public transport issues.