Clapham Road: latest road widening project to begin on 28 June

The Clapham Road roundabout will feature a left hand filter lane to take traffic onto Manton Lane (photo: Google Maps)

The latest stage of queue-busting improvements will start on Clapham road this Monday (28 June), creating a dedicated left-turning lane from the south of Clapham Road into Manton Lane, allowing school and freight traffic to bypass the Clapham Road roundabout.

A right-turn facility to enable southbound drivers to access Sainsbury’s will also ease traffic on the roundabout.

This notorious traffic pinch-point has been the subject of near-continuous roadworks for a number of years. Since 2019, Manton Lane improvements were followed by gas works and now this latest development.

The works, which are part of the wide-ranging Transporting Bedford project, will be completed by Spring 2022.

  • Clapham Road between Paula Radcliffe Way and Manton Lane will be widened to create an extra lane for traffic, and a specific left turn filter lane to allow traffic heading up Manton Lane to bypass the roundabout
  • Improvements will also be made to allow people coming south on Clapham Road to turn right into Sainsbury’s, which will also help to ease traffic on this busy roundabout
  • The Clapham Road roundabout itself will be widened to create more space for traffic to flow, and traffic signals will be installed to help ease congestion during the morning and afternoon rush hours
  • Improved pedestrian and cyclist crossings will also be installed, to make it easier to cross this busy junction

To minimise disruption on this busy route, the majority of these works will be carried out using temporary lane closures, ensuring that the route can still be used throughout.

Phased overnight closures will be in place in early 2022 while resurfacing work takes place.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Highways, said: “These improvement works for Transporting Bedford are a part of the largest ever investment in our Bedford town centre roads.

“This busy route will have much-improved traffic flows with wider roads, new and improved junctions with better road markings and traffic signals.

“By using lane closures, and overnight closures only to carry out resurfacing works, we are doing our utmost to minimise the disruption caused by these major improvements to this popular and often congested route in and of out Bedford.”

The Transporting Bedford project is funded by both Bedford Borough Council and funding from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), through the Local Growth Fund and represents the largest ever investment in Bedford’s roads.

Judith Barker, Director of Programmes and Governance at SEMLEP said: “Bedford has considerable opportunity for investment and employment growth, so it is important that we back town improvement projects like this.

“Transporting Bedford is all about making it easier, faster and crucially, safer for people and businesses to get to where they want to be.”

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