A fun ride across the fens - much easier if there isn't too much wind. Going through Outwell and Friday Bridge rather than Emneth and Elm avoids some rough roads, but still contains several more-than-a-mile straights (pictured). There are shops at each end and in the bigger villages. There is a pretty good cafe for lunch called Panini's in March Town Hall. Easiest bike parking (pictured) is in the middle of Broad Street, before you reach it.
So the Clapham Road / Union Road roundabout is planned to become a turbo roundabout. Chris Peck of CTC has put up a blog post about this at http://www.ctc.org.uk/blog/chris-peck/cycle-safety-fund-and-bedford-turbo-roundabout-some-facts and there is a note from the scheme designer at
http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/a-modern-amsterdam-roundabout/#comment-6142 (from March 2013)
CTC members are allowed to comment on Chris Peck's blog, so I'll just
note here that I'm horrified that wasting cycle safety money building
bad designs was considered preferable to rolling the fund over to a new
round or handing it back, despite this supposedly being a time of
The note from the scheme designer makes clear that
bikes came a poor third place. I don't really buy much of his bid: the
background PDF linked by Chris Peck seems a bit misleading. Some
- it calls that roundabout "the highest concentration of cyclist accidents [2004-2010]" but the independent
http://road-collisions.dft.gov.uk/accident-map/bedford makes it look
like the area of the river crossing by the college has a higher cyclist-only concentration 2005-2012, as does Midland Road, which is the street
between station and town centre, which is more what I'd expect from my
memory of Bedford (I used to ride mostly around nearby MK and travel to/through Bedford occasionally)... and page 6 shows that cyclists were a minority of
- there's some impressive hand-waving on page 3 to arrive at a 70% casualty reduction for the turbo roundabout, after it's been chosen. That becomes 75% for serious casualties on page 6. Will they ever be asked to prove they achieve that?
- Page 4 claims a corner of 10-15 metres radius will result in a vehicle speed of 15mph and I can't see where this number comes from. Manual for Streets page 66 claims a 7 metre radius corner allows turns of 20-30mph - will a looser radius really result in lower speeds?
I could continue, but I'm surprised it didn't fail hard. I can only dream nightmares of what the less-desirable proposals were.