Shortstown Councillor’s petition for safer crossing receives unanimous backing from Council

13 Feb 2024
Cllr Leigh Coombs

Liberal Democrat Shortstown Councillor Leigh Coombs has received unanimous backing from the Council for his petition to install a safer crossing at the A421 exit slip road in Shortstown. Cllr Coombs moved a motion calling on the Council to collaborate with National Highways to install a safe pedestrian crossing and also prioritise the upgrading of the Old Harrowden and Bumpy Lane route with suitable, paving, adequate lighting, efficient drainage, and the installation of CCTV.

Cllr Coombs presented his petition to Full Council this week and also included a video of the dangerous route many school children have to take every morning and evening to get to Bedford Academy. The video showed the busy crossing with a number of heavy goods vehicles and cars using the roads and school children finding it difficult to cross. Previously, Cllr Coombs had approached the Council, requesting a reassessment of this route. Unsurprisingly, it was found to be unsafe, leading to the suggestion of an alternative route via Bumpy Lane. The video showed a route riddled with flooding, without proper lighting and an underpass with low visibility. You can view Cllr Coombs’ proposal and the video here.

Following the show of support from the Council, Cllr Coombs said “This is fantastic news for residents who use these routes. We now need to keep up the pressure to make sure this happens. I would like to thank the residents who signed this petition. Without their support it would have been much harder to get this through, so I’m very grateful. The Council must now step up and prioritise getting this work done, sooner rather than later.”

Chris Deller, Headteacher at Bedford Academy, has supported Cllr Coombs’ petition from the beginning. Mr Deller said “I am delighted that a sensible option has been agreed to ensure safe passage for all community members that use the crossing.”