Mid Bedfordshire – Clophill Roundabout Redevelopment

At a time when funds are short, when every penny counts, when we have to consciously drive with extreme care to avoid damaging our vehicles on one of the thousands of pot holes that litter every road in the UK, Mid Bedfordshire has seen the redevelopment of the Clophill Roundabout where the A6 meets the A507.

At a cost of £6.8 million pounds, Central Bedfordshire Council have replaced the old roundabout with a new almost identical roundabout, but with the addition 3 Toucan crossings, larger pathways for cyclists and pedestrians of which there are few and very little improvement to rush hour queueing times.

Te council will tell you that they only received this money if it was spent on an infrastructure improvement project. Which makes the poor budget allocation decision a national issue rather than a local one. At a time when it is estimated that the cost of repairing the nations roads is in excess of £14 billion, our government chooses to waste almost £7 million on what is in essence 400 yards of resurfaced roundabout.

When every penny counts, when our government is borrowing £ billions every month to meet the shortfalls in tax revenues and balance the books I would have rather seen that money spent on repairing the thousands of pot holes on Mid Bedfordshire’s crumbling road network.

The funds apparently came from the governments “levelling up fund”.

Why not level up the road surface across Mid Bedfordshire for all of the hard pressed motorists many of whom have experienced tyre damage, wheel damage and suspension damage.

White Elephant Roundabout

It is no coincidence that if you Google ‘White Elephant Roundabout” that the Clophill roundabout in Mid bedfordshire Constituency is the first result that appears.

A local with a sense of humour also went to the trouble of placing a stuffed, white elephant toy on the new roundabout to make their point.

For anyone who who may be wondering what the old roundabout looked like, it is exactly the same but with worn tarmac, older kerbstones and pedestrian islands more conveniently placed nearer the roundabout for crossing the road, which was never much fof a challenge because much like the new roundabout there is always stationary traffic in all directions.

The council claim it is now two lane on all approaches, but that is only the case for 50 yards or so at most, which has little impact of traffic flow it seems.

Mid Bedfordshire Clophill Roundabout Redevelopment White Elephant for £6.8m

Image courtesy of the BBC

Bad Government Decisions Compound Effect

The government provided Central Bedfordshire Council with £6.8m levelling up money which has been wasted redeveloping the Mid Bedfordshire Clophill roundabout providing minimal benefit for road users.

Surely it must occur to someone in government that this money could be spent far more wisely? The new Clophill roundabout stands as a monument to the poor decision making practices of government.

As I said, I am confident that the majority of motorists would rather see the road surfaces across Mid Bedfordshire levelled up so that they can get where they are going in the confidence that they will not damage their cars doing so.

I don’t believe that is too much to ask.

The scale of government waste is off the scale, money just doesn’t reach the areas that people care about, that people need to see investment in.

The cost of living has gone up exponentially while the standard of living has fallen for the majority of people. Everyone is working harder but with less spending power in their paypackets. It is never easy to find additional money for car repairs but thousands of motorists are having to do that everyday because of the state of our roads.

Quality transport links drive a successful economy and we are hampering GDP, slowing growth, limiting our economic recovery by failing to divert funds into maintaining our road network.

The Plot: Nadine Dorries Amazon Ad

Mid Bedfordshire White Elephant

Several Mid Bedfordshire locals have taken to photoshop to create their own white elephant images, the roundabout has been added to Google as the “White Elephant Roundabout” tourist attraction.

White Elephant Roundabout Google search

White Elephant Roundabout Google search

Clophill Roundabout Redevelopment

I can’t see any improvement from a drivers point of view. I would agree that the investment of £6.8m has improved the surrounding paths and Toucan crossings which is great for pedestrians, both of them, but the Toucan crossings work to slow road traffic further.

It seems to me that road traffic was at the bottom of the list of priorities, rather than being the number one top priority. It could always be worse I suppose, they could have decided to install traffic lights on the roundabout as well as seems to be the fashion at present. Perhaps we should be grateful that they didn’t go for lights too!

Levelling Up Money

The Mid Bedfordshire Clophill roundabout redevelopment was funded to the tune of £6.8 million for the governments ‘levelling up fund’. What has been levelled up, who has it been levelled up for? Who has gained from the redevelopment? Cyclists & pedestrians maybe (although the Toucan crossings are hundreds of yards away from the roundabout making their crossing more inconvenient). The white elephant redevelopment certainly has not benefited motorists.

Dumb ‘levelling down’ government infrastructure investment is happening up and down the country, how many others are equally wasteful?

Someone in government must have noticed that this project would provide no benefit to the community, if they didn’t notice then they are negligent, if they did notice and didn’t stop the project then they are incompetent.

As a country we need to spend every hard earned penny wisely. Tax payers are hard pressed at the moment, with the highest tax take in 70 years impacting on everyone.

Yet the wasteful spending continues. Our national debt keeps increasing, the standard of services keeps dropping, we are forced to pay more and more but we receive less and less.

Meanwhile the government spaffs ‘levelling down’ funds on pointless white elephant projects.

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