Background on Transporting Bedford 2020

Funding for Transporting Bedford 2020

The total funding package is being administered through the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). To be compliant with the SEMLEP Local Assurance Framework, the revised project and funds need to be subject to the due diligence process, as approved by DfT for projects of the size.

The business case for the scheme

The business case for the combined Transporting Bedford 2020 project was submitted to SEMLEP for appraisal in October 2017. Due diligence was carried out by SEMLEP and revisions to the business case were made over the spring of 2018.

Download the final business case appendix document (PDF) as submitted to SEMLEP Board in July 2018.

Bedford Town Centre Strategy

Understanding how traffic moves in and around Bedford town centre is critical to being able to improve the situation for all road users. To help inform decision making and take advantage of funding opportunities, the Council commissioned an in depth study of traffic in the town centre in 2014. This included a survey of traffic and car park use, and also the development of a traffic model which helps to test options for new or reassigned roads.

The report sets out traffic movements for a typical day, and also how long typical journeys take on certain routes at different times of the day. Some basic assumptions and agreed objectives are included, and a set of initial options has been set out.

The Bedford Town Centre Strategy study provided us with a baseline to make a bid to the Department for Transport for Local Growth Funding (Round 2). The allocation of £11 million was approved by Government for the Bedford Town Centre Regeneration scheme at which the centre was an additional river crossing. These funds were retained by DfT.

Subsequently the scope of the scheme (which primarily focused on a new river crossing at Batts Ford bridge) has been deemed unaffordable and alternative ways of delivering the same economic outcomes have been sought.

In 2016, Bedford Borough Council was successful in bidding for Local Growth Funding (round 3) funds, securing £4.5 million of funds for the Southern Gateway project which is technology and junction improvements along the Ampthill Road.

The Borough has now reviewed the totality of the funding and has developed a business case for a combined project worth £18.4 million with three main objectives to:

  • Enhance the permeability of the core town centre, creating better connections between the retail quarter, the cultural quarter, and the River Great Ouse
  • Enhance the management of traffic movements into and across the town to improve journey time reliability
  • To significantly improve the Urban Traffic Management Control Technology provision across the core urban area by introducing smart technology that informs travel behaviour and reacts to transport conditions, and provides travellers with real-time information about traffic and travel conditions to allow them to make informed decisions about travel behaviour

The intention is to deliver a range of public realm, junction improvement and SMART traffic control and traffic signal technology on key routes and junctions and within the town centre between spring 2018 and 2021. The remaining funds are from the Borough’s own contribution.

Strategy reports issued

ST15226-001 Issues and Opportunities Report (PDF)

ST15226-002a Option Screening and Assessment Report (PDF)

ST15226-002b Appendix Scheme Long List Appraisal (PDF)

ST15226-003 Scheme Option Development and Appraisal Report (PDF)

ST15226-004 Forecasting Report (PDF)

ST15226-005 Report of Survey (PDF)

ST15226-006 Benchmarking Report (PDF)

Modelling reports issued

ST15239-001 Bedford Town Centre Transport Modelling - LMVR (PDF)

ST15239-002 Bedford Town Centre VISSIM Modelling (PDF)

Information leaflets

Information leaflets and E-Newsletters outlining the Transporting Bedford 2020 scheme are available to view here: