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Street furniture

Street furniture found on our roads and pavements are items like street lights, traffic lights, street nameplates, public seats/benches, traffic and direction signs, guard rails and bollards.


You can report problems about lighting that relate to:

  • street lights
  • traffic lights
  • pedestrian crossings
  • illuminated bollards

The more information you can give us the better. For example, light out altogether, going on/off, burning all day, intermittent.

Report a faulty light 

Street lighting faults take 10 working days to fix from the date of our reply.

Read our street lighting policy document (PDF).

Guard rails and fencing

Fencing on the highway is installed to prevent access, to protect the travelling public or to control the movement of pedestrians.

The Borough Council is not responsible for fences that adjoin the highway. This fencing belongs to the adjoining land owners:

There are three types of fencing in the public highway:

1. Post and rail fencing of areas of highway

Post and rail fencing is installed to prevent or control access to areas of highway. Typical examples are on disused or controlled areas of highway such as chipping stores, where vehicular access is prohibited or restricted.

2. Pedestrian Fences and Guardrails

Pedestrian fences and guard rails are primarily used in urban areas or large villages. They are installed at junctions and sections of road to guide pedestrians to appropriate crossing points. They are also used on footways to guide users from potential hazards e.g. at rear of footways where a ditch is behind.

3. Safety Fencing

Safety Fencing is used at the following locations:
  • on dual carriageway central reserves
  • around bridge parapets on high speed roads
  • at railway bridges identified by risk assessment as requiring anti-incursion fencing
  • where roads rise above the surrounding ground level by more than 6 metres


These serve a purpose to restrict vehicular and pedestrian movement. Bollards are commonly found on grass verges to protect them being driven over by vehicles.

Our favoured solution, if action is deemed necessary, is to erect plastic or wooden bollards depending on the locality, although this has to be weighed against the severity of the damage and the potential to move the problem to another location.

Bollards are also used to prohibit entry into certain roads and passageways.

Sign posts and signs

There is a risk that motorists will be overwhelmed by too much information and also that undue “clutter” is caused to the highway, by the uncontrolled erection of highway signing. For these reasons new signs will only be provided where absolutely necessary, and any redundant signs and posts will be promptly removed.

Also it may be possible to combine a new sign with others on an existing post, or possibly the sign could be erected onto an existing street lighting column.

New traffic signs will normally only be provided under the following circumstances:

  • Where specifically recommended following an accident or local safety study.
  • In conjunction with improvements or alterations to the road network.
  • Where existing signing is misleading or insufficient and there is evidence of this causing confusion to motorists.

When the decision is taken to install a new sign, it will be designed and installed in accordance with the requirements and guidance given in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002.

Care will be taken in the positioning, design size and mounting of signs to ensure their operational safety, and that the environmental impact is kept to a minimum consistent with the road safety and traffic management needs.

Although in many circumstances illuminated signs are mandatory, the use of high–reflectivity, non–illuminated, signs can bring benefits in terms of sustainability. This is the preferred option and will be a consideration both for new signs and for the replacement of existing signs.


Benches are found near to areas where pedestrian footfall is expected such as our River Embankment and in the pedestrian areas of Bedford Town Centre. We aim to use designs and styles to suit the environment. 

Rural parishes purchase their own public seats/benches. Some parishes will maintain furniture as well as bins. You may contact them in the first instance. Alternatively contact the Highways Helpdesk.

Street nameplate

Report a damaged street nameplate here. Please include the following information:

  • The location/name of the street nameplate
  • The Parish in which the street is located
  • Your name and contact details
  • The nature of the damage to the street nameplate

Report damaged street nameplate 

Or, contact the Highways Helpdesk on 01234 718003.

Once reported, an officer will inspect the site to verify the problem. Following a decision to replace the street nameplate, the process may take up to three weeks to complete. Unfortunately, the service only has a limited budget, and the replacement of street nameplates may need to be prioritised in terms of greatest need.

Please remember that if the problem is not reported to us, we will not know about it and the street nameplate will not be replaced.

Highways Helpdesk
Customer Service Centre
2 Horne Lane
MK40 1RA

Advertising on street furniture

Any advertising sign fixed to lampposts and other street 'furniture' may be illegal. Generally these are removed by the Council. The Council will only allow black on yellow signs to be erected in approved locations on the highway.

Floral tributes and memorials

We have a policy regarding floral tributes and memorials (PDF) which are placed on the highway. This ensures respectful management of issues whilst maintaining road safety and appropriate highway maintenance.

Tel: 01234 718003

Customer Service Centre
2 Horne Lane
MK40 1RA

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