Britain’s first turbo roundabout wins awards

Bedford Turbo roundabout

Bedford Turbo roundabout

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The controversial turbo roundabout built at the junction of Union Street and Tavistock Street has won an award for its “academic inspiration”.

PTRC Education and Research Services Ltd presented Bedford Borough Council with the award for the best “sustainable transport solution” after reviewing a report on the design of the turbo roundabout.

Bedford Turbo roundabout

Bedford Turbo roundabout

The roundabout was designed to be pedestrian-and-cyclist-friendly, and aimed to reduce all road casualties without causing any increase in road congestion.

However, when it was completed last summer it drew criticism from road users for being confusing for drivers, with the Motorcycle Action Group claiming it may even cause more accidents.

A Bedford Borough spokeswoman said: “Between 1st April 2002 and 15th July 2014 there were 40 casualties on the roundabout as a result of 35 accidents; since the construction of the roundabout there have been no accidents.”

The award will be presented to Bedford Borough Council at the Transport Practitioner’s Meeting in July. It comes after the authority recently won the CIHT 2015 Awards for Innovation.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, said “Bedford Borough Council is always looking for new and innovative ways to make the borough’s roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians, without affecting traffic flows.

“The Turbo Roundabout is a fantastic example of how new ideas can make traffic-heavy junctions safer for vulnerable road users; road traffic safety will continue to be a priority for Bedford Borough Council and we welcome the roundabout’s continued success.”

- Bedford Borough Council hosted a conference on modern roundabouts yesterday (July 9) for around 50 delegates, including experts from London, Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford and Dublin, Ireland.

The conference covered roundabout designs and included a visit to the turbo roundabout, which, as the first one built in Britain, has generated significant interest across the country and internationally.