Councillor launches petition for safer crossing in Shortstown

26 Jul 2023

Shortstown Councillor Leigh Coombs (Liberal Democrat) is launching a petition calling for the Council to work with National Highways to install a pedestrian crossing on the dangerous exit slip road on the A421 near Shortstown. Residents have been concerned about their children walking or cycling to Bedford Academy and many choose not to allow them because of the danger of the road.

Many other Shortstown residents use the A600 route to access Bedford and Kingsbrook residents use it to access Shortstown. The entry slip road does have an appropriate crossing in place, however crossing the exit slip can be dangerous task. Councillor Coombs contacted National Highways back in October, who responded saying that there have been no casualties since 2017 and therefore would not support any changes to the junction.

Councillor Coombs said “This is not good enough and seems to indicate we must wait until one of our children is seriously hurt before we can do anything about this! I have since contacted the Council and asked for the route to be reassessed, which they have agreed to do following a rise in population in the area.

“When I stood for election, I said that my neighbours and community deserve the right to have a wonderful home and local area that they can enjoy. Children ought to be happy and smiling, growing up in the best possible way. I want to remove parents’ and carers’ worry and improve the safe routes for all to enjoy Bedford and allow others to enjoy our historic village.”

Councillor Coombs has also met with the Head of Bedford Academy, Mr Chis Deller, who supports his campaign for a safer crossing. Mr Deller said “A review of the current A421 slip road at the Shortstown junction is welcomed by everyone in our school community, particularly as it has the potential to significantly improve the safety and wellbeing of students and staff travelling to school.”

Councillor Coombs added “If you want to see a safe pedestrian crossing on this junction, please sign my petition. Every signature can help with this campaign and reduce the danger to our residents and children.”

You can sign Councillor Coombs’ petition at

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