Roadworks to reduce congestion at a traffic hotspot in Bedford are to start next month.
The works will improve Britannia Road, which links Ampthill Road and Kempston Road, two major routes into the town centre.
The improvements will widen the road, allow space for pedestrians and deliver major changes to the road layout.
These will see the addition of traffic lights to the junction with King’s Place, reducing delays caused by traffic turning into the large car park off King’s Place.
The traffic lights at both ends of Britannia Road and the new traffic lights at King’s Place are also being upgraded.
The layout of the main hospital car park will be changed to improve traffic flow around the car park, and the exit on to Britannia Road will be closed.
The layout of the drop-off layby near the hospital entrance on Britannia Road will also be altered, and some existing on-street parking removed from King’s Place. This will all help to improve traffic flow down Britannia Road.
The works will begin on Saturday, July 20 and will be complete in early 2020.
Britannia Road will be open one way to traffic going from Ampthill Road to Kempston Road. There will be a clearly signed diversion route in place throughout the works, around Kingsway and St Mary’s Street.
There will be some pavement restrictions in place to allow the works to take place safely, but this route will continue to be open to pedestrians through the works.
The bus stop on Britannia Road southbound will also be temporarily out of use while these works are ongoing, with bus services 2, 42 and 44 using a temporary stop on Ampthill Road, at the junction with Britannia Road.
These bus services will not use the bus stops on Kingsway and Kingsway link during the works.
Revised timetables for these services will be available to view on the Bedford Borough Council timetable page or on the operator’s website.
These works are not expected to have any operational impact on Bedford Hospital, and the council is working closely with it to minimise the impact on patients and staff.
Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Highways, said: “We have to make a start on these works this summer to ensure we deliver this huge, multimillion-pound highways improvement project across our town centre, on time and in budget.
“We apologise for any inconvenience these works cause. This is a busy route into town, which is why we have found a way to keep it open while carrying out these crucial works.
“Transporting Bedford 2020 is about tackling those key congestion hotspots which by their nature are well-used routes through our town. We have worked to minimise disruption while delivering this project and the huge benefits it will bring to ease congestion, and make our roads more reliable for our long-term future.”
Transporting Bedford 2020 is an £18million project to tackle congestion hotspots in Bedford, funded by both Bedford Borough Council and £15.5M funding from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Local Growth Fund and represents the largest ever investment in Bedford’s roads.
Find out more about the project at www.bedford.gov.uk/transportingbedford2020