Christmas Decorations Competition 2022

2022 is flying by and Christmas will be here before we know it, which means it will soon be time to get those decorations up! For the last 3 years we have run a little competition to find the best decorated home in Wixams and we’re pleased to announce we’re running another competition this year. The competition is very simple, we ask people to enter and then in mid December we’ll give the list of homes to our judges and they have a few days to visit every home. All the judges submit their top 3 homes and the winners are the home that received the most points. The winners are rewarded for their efforts with a massive hamper of goodies worth around £100. You can enter by filling in the form further down the page, that’s it!

Here are some of the judges favourites from the last 3 years…

Register to Enter

It’s completely free to enter the competition, please just fill in the form below to take part.

Please register by Tuesday 13th December

From Wednesday 14th December our judges will make their way around Wixams to decide which home stands out the most.

In previous years we have been asked where all the best houses are, so we may produce a map of some of our competition entrants. If you would like to be added to this map please tick the box in the form. Only the first line of your address will be published.

    Your data will only be used for this competition and will be deleted once it has finished.

    Past Competitions

    You can find some fantastic photos of the previous competitions on the pages below:

    Halloween Decorations Competition 2022

    Wixams is a fantastic place to be for Halloween each year and, despite the miserable weather, 2022 seemed to be busier than ever. We saw our town come alive with hundreds of little reanimated skeletons, witches, ghosts and even dinosaurs out on the hunt for sweeties and enjoying the atmosphere.

    As usual we ran our Halloween Decorations Competition so that we could find the ‘Spookiest House in Wixams’ and reward them for their hard work and for helping create such a wonderful experience for our community. This year 16 homes entered the competition and we could tell some people had really taken things up a notch! Our judges saw so many weird and wonderful new ideas and it was particularly interesting to see what past competition entrants had put together. In some cases they took last year’s display and went event further with it, in other cases they did something completely new. The creativity of some displays was off the charts and the variety made things really difficult for our judges. Two of them kept asking if we could just make everyone a winner a split the hamper between all the families!

    Thanks Yous

    A competition like this takes a lot of work and people to plan and run; given it’s all done by volunteers we want to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has made this a success.

    The winning prize is a massive hamper and all the goodies were very kindly donated by Welcome Co-op Wixams, thank you to Damian and the team. All those goodies were put together in a great Halloween themed two-part hamper by the fantastic Faye. The amazing photos below were taken by Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com), he covers lots of events in Wixams and elsewhere for free and in his own time. It’s a massive undertaking and it makes all the difference to have so many great shots to share with the entrants and the wider community. Last but not least are the judges: Barbara, Cecilia & the boys, Rich & Lucy, Ferial & Mike, Paula, Sheila, Adriana, Richard and Joey. Thank you all!

    The Prize

    As usual the prize for the winning home was a massive two-part hamper of goodies worth around £100. Both boxes were crammed with drinks, snacks, sweets and more which we’re sure our winners have got stuck into already. We make sure that around half of the budget is spent on drinks just for the adults as we know they put in so much work into their displays, sometimes planning months in advance 🍻

    And the Winner is…

    Three homes this year were very popular with the judges but there can only be one winner, and it was this fantastic display on Pheasant Grove! We were wowed by the sheer number of props they had created and the overall effect was something really spooky and special. Apparently it was put together on a tight budget and the props were mostly hand made from bits of old wood and bin liners. 10/10 for effort there!

    There’s a big variety of houses in Wixams, particularly in size, so our judges do their best to factor this in and consider how well the displays take advantage of the space available. Our winners are lucky to have some green space in front of their home but they really took things to another level filling it with a giant spider and web, corpses, pumpkins and more. The house itself was really impressive too including silhouettes in every window. Well done and thank you for bringing something new to Halloween in Wixams 👏👏👏

    Other Entrants

    We want to thank all of the participants in this year’s competition for their hard work. This year really was exceptional and we saw some particularly fantastic new ideas which deserve a mention. The house on Brambling Gardens was covered in a giant spider’s web and the nest was home to the bowl of sweeties 😵‍💫 The owners of one home on Brooklands Avenue seem to take great pleasure in giving visitors a fright in return for sweets, this time a giant spider would drop on anyone brave enough to try to grab some from the bowl! We saw lots of great window scenes but the stained glass windows on Tawny Avenue really stood out. We also saw some really great carved pumpkins in a variety of styles, some lit of with colourful lights, and they all looked fab.

    A special mention goes to the Stranger Things themed house on Southern Cross which was absolutely stunning. Unfortunately the age range of our judges mean that they didn’t all get the references, but one judge is a big fan of the show and said the attention to detail was incredible and it captured so many different parts of the story. Well done guys, we’re sure you made a lot of people very happy 😈

    Here’s some great photos from the other entrants for you to enjoy.

    Past Competitions

    You can find some fantastic photos of the previous competitions on the pages below:

    🌻 Sunflowers for Summer 🌻

    In the Wixams Community Group we love gardening so in March 2022 we ran a little project to give away sunflower seeds to homes all across Wixams. We started with a couple of large bags of seeds of giant yellow and red sunflowers. These were put into around 100 packs which we could give out to the community, each containing:

    • Approx. 10 yellow sunflower seeds
    • Approx. 10 red sunflower seeds
    • Growing instructions


    We had given a few bags out already but after a post on our Facebook group every single remaining bag was claimed in just one evening! We were overwhelmed by the response and wanted more people to take part so we reached out to Seasons garden centre in Wixams. Seasons were great and, despite their limited stocks, they gave us enough seeds so that we could put together around 50 more packs of seeds which we were able to distribute. Thank you Seasons! 👏🏻

    Photos

    Below is a selection of the fantastic sunflowers grown around Wixams from this project.

    Wixams Residents’ Association

    It’s been more than a decade since the first bricks were laid down in our lovely town and, even though Wixams is a great place to live, the journey so far has been pretty rocky. Residents have seen the plans for Wixams change a number of times and some much needed facilities removed. Below we have highlighted the key issues in Wixams and identified some cases where decisions have been made on our behalves by councillors and council officers which have sometimes gone directly against the wishes of the community.

    We think the best way to protect the remaining plans for our town is to form an independent residents’ association which can work more closely with the community to push for change, and to collaborate with parish councils and local authorities where needed.

    On this page:

    1. Wixams Station
    2. Retail Units
    3. Zebra Crossings
    4. Public Transport
    5. Highways
    6. Parking
    7. Employment
    8. Join the committee or Sign Up for updates
    9. Inaugural Meeting 20th October

    You can find out more about the plans for Wixams on the Development Plans page.

    Wixams Station

    After many years of waiting the planning application for the Wixams Railway Station has now been submitted and the first trains expected in December 2024.

    Good news? Yes, but only because of the actions of some very proactive Wixamites who campaigned in 2018 when the station plans were in peril. The station had been delayed due to a funding gap and after multiple attempts by Gallagher Estates (now L&Q Estates) to find a way forward, it was clear that the station couldn’t be built without the shortfall being met. After months of campaigning Mayor Dave Hodgson finally took action and committed the tax-payer funding which meant the station could go ahead.

    You can find out more about the station from the council’s dedicated pages:

    Retail Units

    In March 2022 the Wixams Joint Development Control Committee (WJDCC) voted to remove a set of planned facilities across Wixams to help meet a funding shortfall for the primary school in Village 3. The proposals included the removal of the units in Willow Grove (Village 2) and Harrowden Green (Village 4), which would likely include a local shop and takeaways in each, similar to those in Lakeview (Village 1).

    The S106 changes removed the facilities planned for village 2, pictured above in orange

    This decision was based on arguments made by the principle planning officer for Wixams who suggested a move to internet shopping and the impacts of the pandemic mean there wouldn’t be enough demand to fill those units, as well as the 10 planned for the town centre. Questions have raised about this rationale by residents as local shops are always in need. There has also been more demand than predicted; within 24 hours of a post in our Facebook group LSP Developments received 25 enquiries from local businesses interested in leasing one of the few town centre units being offered.

    After a campaign led by the Wixams Newsletter 57 residents responded widely rejecting the removal of these key facilities. When the public objections were highlighted by Cllr Graeme Coombes to the planning officer at the meeting he simply responded with a shrug. The WJDCC voted to approve all the revisions with 5 votes in favour, 3 against and 1 abstention (full story on page 9 of Apr 2022 Wixams Newsletter).

    Zebra Crossings

    Parents have been calling for zebra crossings in multiple key locations in Wixams for many years, including on Brooklands Avenue near to Lakeview Primary, Green Lane near to Wixams Tree Primary and Bedford Road parallel with Green Lane. Early in 2022 a young girl was hit by a car on Brooklands Avenue, sustaining minor injuries, leading to her mum submitting a petition to Bedford Borough Council for crossings in Wixams. The petition was signed by 178 residents and once presented to the council led to them assuring a crossing will be installed on Green Lane as part of the extension to Wixams Tree Primary School.

    Whilst there has now been some progress, further action will likely be needed to pressure the councils to install more crossings to improve pedestrian safety (including Central Beds Council for a crossing on Meadow Road), especially for our children who are trying to get to school along our busy roads.

    Public Transport

    Bus services in Wixams are severely lacking and in the 2021 Wixams Residents Survey people asked for Sunday and late services, they also highlighted that the 44 and 81 buses often arrive at the same time.

    The good news is Stagecoach announced the 81 route will be changing to the MK1 and will include services on Sundays and public holidays. The MK1 will go from Bedford bus station and via Wixams to Luton and Luton Airport bus station, and then up the M1 to Milton Keynes.

    Unfortunately the councils have very little ability to influence the bus services due to privatisation and deregulation. However more work is needed to push for improved routes and discount schemes which would benefit those who rely on the buses.

    Highways

    In 2020 we highlighted that the creation of a logistics park in Wixams, with only one access point via The Causeway, had increased congestion and that the issue would get worse.

    The road network will have to accommodate:

    • The extra traffic generated by Wixams’ residents who work outside of the town as there are fewer employment opportunities here.
    • The extra traffic generated by the workers at the warehouses who mainly don’t live in Wixams.
    • The HGVs servicing the warehouses.
    • The traffic from neighbouring villages who will use Wixams as a rat-run to avoid Houghton Conquest and Cow Bridge near the Interchange Retail Park.
    • Residents from nearby villages, Kempston and the south of Bedford who will use the Wixams train station to commute.

    When the planning applications were submitted for the warehousing in Wixams, neither the council’s highways team nor Highways England made any comment about the ability of the roads to handle the cumulative traffic from all the warehouses. A proposal was made by Cllr Graeme Coombes for a link road to take the commercial traffic away from residents areas. Whilst this idea has a lot of support from the community it would likely be paid for by the tax payer and raises questions as to why the highways team didn’t consider the long term impacts on our roads from the outset.

    Parking

    Residents in Lakeview (Village 1) have struggled for more than a decade with the lack of parking spaces for themselves and visitors, particularly along Brooklands Avenue. This is because of legislation in place at the time of building which limited the number of spaces to an average of 1.5 per household to encourage people to use public transport. We met with L&Q Estates in September 2021 and they explained that they didn’t think this was appropriate for Wixams. They had highlighted this issue with Bedford Borough Council and recommended they request dispensation from this legislation, but the council refused.

    There are places where additional on-street parking could be created but this would be at the expense of the tax payer. However, with house prices being so high many younger residents will likely remain living with their parents but may add an extra car to the household, so the problem will only get worse and will be more expense to resolve in the long run.

    Employment

    The vast majority of jobs created in Wixams are for relatively low pay and in only one industry: Logistics. Significant progress is being made in automation which means many of the lowest paid jobs will be gone in the coming years:

    All the land originally allocated for new employment has now gone and the ‘expansion area’ has been used to build the B&M and planned Aldi distribution centres. No investment has been made in Wixams in creating workspaces such as offices for local businesses, or for national businesses which could employ local residents. No small commercial units have been created for businesses such as painters and decorators, plumbers etc which could be leased by local firms to help them thrive and grow, and which would lead to more job opportunities for residents in the future.

    The Wixams Masterplan included a new employment area and expansion area (now B&M and Aldi). Source: 11/01380/M73 Wixams Strategic Design Guide

    Representatives from Bedford Borough Council have said that some office units could be created in the town centre and near to the railway station, but this will not be enough to create a sustainable local economy. Our young residents looking for work will likely be forced to choose between low paid local work or having to commute by car or train.

    More work is needed to pressure the councils to create more sustainable employment opportunities for our new town.

    Join or Sign Up

    This is just a selection of some of the issues and challenges residents in Wixams have faced over the last decade. To help resolve some of these problems and to try and prevent the loss of yet more facilities the community will need to work together to help make Wixams a town we can all enjoy for many years.

    Join the Committee

    We need committee members to help run this group and to work on behalf of other residents. If you’ve never been on a committee before it’s easier than it sounds and won’t take up a lot of your time. These are lots of different roles and activities you can take part in:

    • Attending meeting with councillors, developers and other stakeholders.
    • Attending parish council meeting to stay up to date with developments (predominantly Wixams and Houghton Conquest PCs).
    • Looking into plans and planning application to find out what’s being proposed.
    • Help to run a Facebook group/page or other social media channels to share news.
    • Write content for email newsletters.
    • Run the committee itself as chair, secretary or treasurer.

    Please use the form below if you’re interested in joining the Wixams Residents’ Association committee:

      Your name:

      Your email:

      Sign up for Updates

      Enter your email address below to get news and updates from the association. This will include notifications about planning applications which may impact you.

        Your email:

        Inaugural Meeting

        A meeting to establish the new association will be held in the Swan Room, Lakeview Village Hall. Please come along to share your views and help set up this group.

        7pm Thursday 20th October

        🧶 Wixams Yarnbombers 🧵

        If you’ve never heard of Yarn Bombing you’re in good company, we hadn’t either. But after a suggestion and a donation from Barratt/David Wilson Homes to set up a group in Wixams we agreed it would be a great way to bring people together to do something crafty, fun and a great way to decorate our town!

        In March 2022 after a request in our Facebook group we had over 20 people volunteer to join! The group met in early April and over a 6 week period they worked together to create a wonderful show for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. They created a central display with lots of bunting, paperchains, trellises with lots of flowers and creatures, and even a little Queen with her corgi sat on a throne!! 👸🐕 They also created a separate display for the outside of the Willow Grove marketing suite on Southern Cross, with grey (platinum) and purple wool. We think it adds a touch of class and is a great way to honour the Queen’s 70 years as our monarch.

        The group created 384 links for the paperchains, 185 bunting flags, 137 flowers, 11 ’70’ crown rings, 5 flower rings and 21 tree swizzlers. Impressive work!!

        Remembrance Project

        After the huge success of the Jubilee project the group have decided to create a display for this year’s Remembrance Day. This will include lots of crocheted or knitted poppies and the group would also like to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.

        If you’d like to take part in this project please use the form at the bottom of the page to find out how you can get involved.

        Get Involved

        If you’ve never knitted or crocheted before that’s no problem, it’s easy to learn and the group has lots of people who can help you to learn at your own pace. The group is very positive and supportive of all members, and it’s a great way to meet people in the community. Any contribution is welcomed, no matter how small.

        Please fill in your details below if you’d like to join the group or find out more:

          Your name:

          Your email:

          A new Facebook has been created, please feel free to join to stay up to date with the group’s activities: Wixams Yarn Bombers

          Christmas Decorations Competition 2021

          This Christmas may be very different for many but the fantastic Wixams community have stood strong and don’t seem to be letting things get to them! Our judges were bowled over yet again by the beautifully decorated homes in Wixams this winter and we’re sure you’ll agree that our town looks magical under the night sky. There were 20 homes entered into our competition and, as you’ll see from the photos further down this page, there were a wide variety of great decorations and styles on display.

          Thank Yous

          The Wixams Community Group has a very small committee so we rely on volunteers to help us run our competitions, as well as donations for the prizes. We’d like to extend a massive thank you to Michelle and the Welcome Co-op team for their continued support and their kind donation of the hamper goodies, especially as they’ve been so busy recently with the refurbishment and rebranding! Thank you to Faye for putting it all together into the fantastic Christmassy double hamper. The second prize was donated by the Wixams Parish Council, we very much appreciate their support. And once again we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for his amazing photos which we know bring joy to people, especially those who can’t make their way around our town themselves.

          Finally we’d like to thank the judges who give up their time to walk around Wixams checking every single entrant: Nathan and Barbara from the Wixams Events Team, and the other judges Margaret, Diana, John, Sheila, Saqhib, Cecilia, Adriana and Richard.

          The Runners-Up

          Second place this year is this lovely home on Mink Meadow in Willow Grove. The bright colours really capture the cheerfulness of the Christmas season and the variety of decorations on display show the imagination of the owners. Their prize of a £50 John Lewis voucher has now been delivered and we hope they buy themselves something nice to enjoy Christmas even more!

          First Prize

          The winning prize for this competition was a huge two-part hamper full of goodies worth around £100. We’ve selected a ton of tasty sweet and savoury treats for the whole family to enjoy, as well as a rather large quantity of drinks for the adults 🍿🍫🍬🍪🍻🥂

          And the winner is…

          The winning home on Brooklands Avenue has been a firm favourite in previous years, but this time they reached new levels and they were awarded points by 8 of the 10 judges! We really loved that they included all the elements of a child’s Christmas, creating something special which we’re sure is very popular with the little residents of Wixams. They managed to cram a lot into a small space yet still produced a well planned and thoughtful display. We’ve delivered the winners their prize and we hope it brings them extra joy this Christmas. Congratulations!

           

          Other Entrants

          Here are some photos of the other great entrants to this year’s competition for your viewing pleasure. There are so many lovely decorations all across Wixams this year, not just of those who entered the competition, so we hope you’ll get a chance to have a walk around and appreciate the sparkling lights, colourful displays, cute models and window scenes 🎅🏻

           

          Halloween Decorations Competition 2021

          Yet again Wixams was absolutely thriving on Halloween, the streets were packed with families and children all dressed up for trick-or-treating and on the hunt for sweeties. The community put on an amazing display for all to enjoy too, with decorations ranging from some lovely carved pumpkins by the front door, all the way up to some impressive and creative displays of fun and spookiness!

          36 homes entered into our competition this year and our entrants were clearly very competitive which gave our judges a tough time choosing the winner. We’d like to extend our thanks to everyone who took the time to make Wixams a special place to be this Halloween.

          Thanks Yous

          We’re very lucky to be able to work with some wonderful people who come forward time and time again to help us out with our competitions. Firstly a massive thank you to Michelle and the team at Budgens for supplying all the goodies for the prize hamper. This was all put together by the fabulous Faye into a super two-part Halloween themed hamper. We had a second prize this year which was kindly donated by the Wixams Parish Council. Yet again a huge thank you goes to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for his excellent photos taken of our entrants, a tough job given how spread out they were across Wixams! And finally thank you to Nathan and Barbara from the Wixams Events Team and the rest of the judges: Saqhib, Richard, Lucy, Cecilia and Sam 👏

          The Runners-Up

          In second place was this very spooky house on Silverstream which was adorned with all sorts of props, including a coffin for you to open if you dared (not pictured) and lots of worrying noises coming from inside of people trying to get out! 😮 Congratulations go to them and they have now been awarded their prize of a £50 gift card for John Lewis 🛍

          The Top Prize

          The winners this year took home a trophy celebrating their home being the ‘Spookiest House in Wixams 2021’ and of course the hampers full of booze, snacks and goodies worth £100.

          The Winners!

          There were plenty of great homes to choose from but our judges were very impressed by this home on Corncroft Leys in village 4 which they felt perfectly captured the spirit of Halloween. They noted the exceptional effort that had gone into the decorations, many of them home made, as well as how engaged visitors were with the display and characters. One judge said they felt like they were walking into a movie about Halloween! We’ve now dropped off their prize and we hope they’ve already got stuck into the lovely treats. Well done and congratulations 🍻

          Other Entrants

          Commiserations to our other contenders this year, there really were some amazing displays out there which wowed the judges and trick-or-treaters alike! Here are some great photos from some of the other entrants.

           

          Christmas Decorations Competition 2020

          Despite such a turbulent year the Wixams community has excelled itself once again and together have created a magical place filled with lights, colours and decorations for everyone to enjoy. We’ve seen lots of families taking walks around our town enjoying the displays and getting into the festive mood. Thank you to everyone who decorated their homes and helped to make Wixams a special place to live.

          Thank yous

          We’d like to express our gratitude to a lot of people for their help in bringing this competition to the Wixams community. Firstly thank you to Michelle and the Budgens team for supplying all the items for the prize, and to Amanda for putting it all together into two huge Christmas themed hampers. Yet again a massive thank you goes to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for his amazing photos from all across Wixams, he gave up a lot of his time capturing photos for the competition but also to share with the community. Thanks also to Jeremie for the fab photos he shared in the Wixams Christmas Lights Facebook group. And finally thank you to our judges, Nathan & Barbara from the Wixams Events Team, Margaret, Saqhib, Paula, Cecilia and Richard.

          The Prize

          This year’s winners were awarded a two-part hamper filled with drinks (mostly booze!), chocolates, biscuits, crisps, snacks and more 🍾

          The Winners

          With so many beautifully decorated houses on display our judges had a lot of choice and variety this year, but there was one that stood out and was the clear winner. This home has been very popular with the little ones who could be regularly seen looking through the fence at the amazing display. They managed to fit a lot of detail into their garden including an ice-rink for the dolls, a gingerbread house, lights, glass balloons and more! The winners have now received their prize and we hope it helps to make their Christmas even more special.

          Christmas in Wixams

          Here is just a selection of some of the other wonderful displays in Wixams this year, including some of our other finalists. You can find lots more photos taken by Asan on his website, and by other members of the community in the Wixams Christmas Lights Facebook group.

          Halloween Decorations Competition 2020

          The Wixams community excelled itself again for Halloween in 2020 and put on a fantastic display for all to enjoy. The Trick-or-Treaters were out in smaller groups than normal and residents found some creative ways to share sweeties with the kids in a safe way, one home even had them hanging from a string! Thank you to everyone for bringing some fun and joy to Wixams during such a difficult time.

          Thank yous

          Yet again we’d like to send Michelle and the team at Budgens a massive thank you for supplying all the goodies for the prize hamper. Thank you to Amanda who did a great job putting it all together into a fantastic Halloween theme with lots of glittery spiders and cobwebs. A huge thank you goes to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) who rushed around all evening taking amazing photos of as many homes as possible before people started taking their decorations down. And finally thank you to the Wixams Events Team and the rest of the judges for helping us find all the fantastic finalists and making sure the competition went smoothly. Thank you Nathan, Cecilia, Barbara, Graeme, Saqhib, Paula and Richard 🎃

          The prize

          The winners are now the proud owners of a trophy for having the ‘Spookiest House in Wixams 2020’ as well as a bumper two part hamper full of goodies worth £100.

          The winners!

          This year the judges had plenty of great homes to choose from but the clear winners this year were this fabulous home on Green Lane. They really went the extra mile to celebrate Halloween and the whole family were even dressed up as The Addams Family! Well done to them and we hope they enjoy their prize 🍾

          Other contenders

          The judges has a lot of homes to choose from this year so we wanted to share some photos of some of the other finalists. Thank you all for your wonderful displays.

          Traffic Troubles Featured Image

          Traffic Troubles

          Since the B&M distribution centre opened at the end of 2019 Wixams has seen a sharp increase in traffic crossing over The Causeway which has caused significant disruption to residents who live nearby. The increase in vehicles mainly includes HGVs servicing B&M and other industrial units but also hundreds of cars entering and exiting Wixams on a daily basis during the B&M shift changes at 6am, 2pm and 10pm. Residents have reported to us and to Bedford Borough Council they’re being disturbed and even woken up in the night due to brake squealing, unsecured loads and loud engine and/or exhaust noise.

          Concerns have also been raised about the impacts this traffic will have elsewhere in Wixams. The HGVs often take a little while to access the A6 when it’s busy and this has at times led to a queue reaching all the way to Bedford Road near to the top of Brooklands Avenue as shown in the photo above. If this continues to get worse it’s very likely that drivers will start to find other routes out of Wixams which would mean Brooklands Avenue, Bedford Road, Green Lane and Southern Cross become favoured routes to the A6. This could result in even longer waiting times for traffic trying to access the A6!

          One resident took a lot of their time to monitor the current traffic levels and found that there was an average of 56 HGVs per hour between 5am and 10pm, with peaks of up to 78 per hour. The busiest times were found to be in the morning during rush hour and mid to late afternoon. This might not sound like a lot but the noise from all these lorries and cars has already led to some residents putting their homes on the market because the noise has already become unbearable.

          On this page:

          1. Pollution & Air Quality
          2. Road Surface Damage
          3. Safety at Fisherswood Road Crossing
          4. It’s Going to Get Much Worse
          5. Voices from the Community
          6. Link Road Proposal
          7. Green Lane Traffic Chaos
          8. HGV Parking at Wixams Retirement Village
          9. Wixams Parish Council Highways Proposal
          10. Pavement Parking Ban Consultation
          11. Borough Points of Contact

          Pollution & Air Quality

          We have heard multiple times that the air quality near to The Causeway is noticeably worse and has even led to genuine health issues for some. One resident recently shared a screenshot from their home air quality monitor which shows the air quality to be in the ‘abnormal’ to ‘very abnormal’ ranges for most of the day, only dropping to ‘normal’ between around midnight and 6am. These readings are from a domestic sensor so cannot be considered conclusive, but we have compared them to the measured traffic levels and there is a distinct correlation (view data).

          The pollution from heavy diesel vehicles such as Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, diesel particulates, tyre wear particulates and brake dust can be very damaging to your health. With so many lorries now travelling through Wixams, past residential areas and alongside busy pavements, and with the traffic levels due to increase significantly, we wrote to the Borough to request that additional air quality monitoring be installed in Wixams.

          The Mayor has confirmed that an extra Nitrogen Dioxide monitoring station has now been installed on the junction of The Causeway and Bedford Road near to the Wixams Retirement Village and the data from this will be used to determine if further monitoring equipment will be required.

          Road Surface Damage

          The increase in commercial traffic has led to major damage to the road surface on The Causeway, particularly at the junction with the A6 and the roundabout with Bedford Road. The main damage appeared in December 2019 and has been reported to the Borough multiple times yet has still not been properly resolved. A temporary repair was carried out earlier in the year but it was reported to us that the new repairs had failed within 2 days of being carried out.

          Cllr. Tim Hill (Borough Councillor for that part of Wixams) has confirmed that The Causeway along with the approaches to the two A6 roundabouts will be re-surfaced in February/March 2021.

          Safety at Fisherswood Road Crossing

          Lots of parents and WRV residents have reported concerns to us about the crossing point at the bottom of Fisherswood Road. The roundabout itself blocks the visibility of the traffic coming over The Causeway and pedestrians often have to hurry to cross over because of vehicles suddenly appearing. A resident whose property overlooks the roundabout has said they have witnessed multiple near accidents at that junction already including some involving small children. This crossing point has been built without a proper pedestrian crossing and even without signs to warn drivers of the risks, this seems like a significant oversight.

          A few residents have reported their concerns to the Borough and the Mayor has now confirmed that they’re looking into installing a pedestrian crossing at this junction.

          Update 5 March 21:

          Cllr Tim Hill has confirmed that Fisherswood Road has now been adopted by the Borough and they will look to install a crossing in due course.

          It’s Going to Get Much Worse

          The recent increase in traffic issues has been predominantly caused by the opening of the B&M unit. This facility is a major distribution centre for B&M and the only one in the south of England. B&M have plans to open another 45 stores by April 2021 and this will likely mean a further increase in traffic using this distribution centre in Wixams.

          There are other factors which will mean even more traffic will come to Wixams:

          • Over the coming months and years another twelve warehouses/units (including the G-Park development) will be built and operational in the north of Wixams. The HGVs for those units and a big proportion of the staff working there will all use The Causeway to access the A6.
          • Fisherswood Road/The Causeway is also one of only three routes onto the A6 from the west side of Wixams, including from the B530. Most of the traffic will likely use Southern Cross as this is the most direct route but some might also use Green Lane if other routes are too busy, this might exacerbate the existing parking and traffic issues there.
          • The Wixams railway station is also going to bring an increase in traffic to The Causeway and subsequently other parts of Wixams. It will be the closest station for thousands of people in Kempston, the south of Bedford as well as being much more accessible for nearby villages such as Elstow, Wilstead, Great Barford and beyond.
          • A large number of residents in Wixams have been furloughed or are working from home due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Once they return to work the traffic levels will increase.
          • The residential areas of Wixams will not be finished for a few years yet but the new residents will of course bring more cars to our roads.

          Voices from the Community

          There are currently over 150 objections to the G-Park planning application, here are just some of the comments made by members of the public about the traffic issues in Wixams:

          Due to the issues above we believe it’s absolutely essential that a link road be put in place to service the commercial areas of Wixams and take the traffic away from residential areas, this includes the Wixams Retirement Village and planned care home on Bedford Road. One solution would be for the road leading to the Tarmac facility to be opened up to traffic and linked to Fisherswood Road. A second link road should then be added to take traffic across to Watson Road meaning all commercial traffic is routed away from The Causeway and Bedford Road.

          Cllr. Graeme Coombes has proposed this idea with the Borough and the Mayor has let us know an engineer has been tasked to review the options. To try and improve the issues for local residents the Mayor has proposed some other measures:

          • Traffic calming measures for Fisherswood Road
          • Low friction tarmac on The Causeway

          Unfortunately these proposals are not going to reduce the overall traffic levels or significantly reduce the noise or air pollution from the vehicles.

          The developers for the Northern Expansion Area (where B&M has now been built) already raised concerns in 2015 about the traffic impacts on residents of using The Causeway for commercial traffic:

          "The development proposes the use of the Old A6 for HGV access to the NEA site thereby avoiding the use of The Causeway by HGV’s and reducing any potentially negative impacts on the neighbouring residential areas as a result." (15/00466/EIA V61, para 2.1.1)

          Bedford Borough Council were warned that there would be traffic impacts from the B&M development yet no mitigations were put in place and they have continued to give planning consent for further warehouses. As the traffic is already causing major disruption to residents, congestion within our village, and with plans for another 12 warehouses to be opened here (view map), we're asking the Borough to take action and put a link road in place to fix the issues which they have failed to prevent.

          Green Lane Traffic Chaos

          Green Lane Traffic ChaosAs the only road servicing two of the schools in Wixams, Green Lane has seen more than its fair share of traffic issues. The road will eventually link up to the town centre of Wixams but since it was built over 10 years ago the road has been a dead end. This has meant that parents dropping their children off have been forced to turn around and return back down Green Lane which essentially doubles the traffic flow on the road at times.

          The main traffic pinch-point is caused by the bends in the road near to Eagle Mews and Harrier Leys. The cars parked along Green Lane blocks one of the lanes between the turnings for Ladybird Way and Nightingale Court and the bends on Green Lane make it much harder for motorists to see if something is coming, often this leads to cars having to reverse back down the road as well as queues reaching all the way back to Dove Lane.

          This issue was first reported over 2 years ago but so far the problem has not been resolved and the congestion is even worse this year. In February the Wixams Parish Council put forward a proposal to put yellow lines along part of Green Lane (see further down), however some residents have questioned whether this proposal will go far enough to properly fix the issue and may just lead to the parked cars being moved elsewhere on Green Lane.

          The traffic issues on Green Lane were discussed again at the September Wixams Parish Council meeting and Cllr. Graeme Coombes agreed to contact the Borough for an update.

          Update 13 October 2022:

          We have now met with Cllr. Graeme Coombes and raised the issues around Green Lane with him. He had recently had a meeting with the heads of the two schools on Green Lane as well as a representative from the Borough and they're working on options to resolve the traffic issues. One measure they are looking to take is to encourage the students to walk or cycle to school instead of using the car. Short and long term solutions to the traffic issues are also being looked into, the more permanent fixes are likely to take 9-12 months to be put in place. There's still no news at to when the pathway linking to Village 4 will be open.

          Update 10 December 2020:

          The Borough have now updated us with the following information:

          We have been working with the schools to understand how children are currently travelling and where they are coming from, with the objective of changing their modes of transport where this is possible. A council Travel Plan Officer is now working with the Primary School on a programme called Modeshift Stars to that end.

          The road itself is mostly un-adopted, and the introduction of lining or signing enforceable by Traffic Regulation Orders, or engineering interventions, is not something that the council can insist upon as it is still owned by the developers. However, we are speaking to the developers to see if they are interested in introducing any of these measures so on their own account, or in offering the road for adoption more quickly than is currently proposed.

          The pathway linking Village 4 to Green Lane has now been delayed and might be in place for Spring 2021.

          Update 20 March 2021:

          Cllr. Coombes has informed us that Green Lane has now been adopted up to the open area before the schools. Work to find a solution to the congestion is ongoing.

          L&Q estates are now bringing forward the development of the Wixams Town Park and will now have to delay opening the temporary link pathway from Village 4.

          Update 5 September 2022:

          The link pathway is now open.

          HGV Parking at Wixams Retirement Village

          WRV Bedford Road HGV ParkingA number of residents have reported HGVs parking on Bedford Road outside the WRV which often block the road and/or dropped curbs. There are quite a few residents at the WRV who use mobility scooters or walking aids so this is a real issue for them.

          These lorries are delivering to B&M and are not allowed to go on their site if they arrive early or stay once they have completed their deliveries but have exceeded their driver’s hours, meaning they are forced to find somewhere else to park.

          We have contacted the Transport Manager at B&M to raise this issue and proposed they park away from residential areas. He was very understanding and agreed to try and resolve this but has said they’re all 3rd party suppliers so it’s very difficult because there are hundreds of them.

          The issue has also been reported to the Borough and Cllr. Tim Hill has confirmed he will look into getting double yellow lines in place to cover the dropped curb areas and parking weight restrictions for the length of the road.

          Update 10 December 2021:

          This issue was discussed at the November Wixams Parish Council meeting. The council, Cllr Coombes and Cllr Hill have all agreed the yellow lines and weight restrictions proposal above is the best outcome for residents and will work towards putting it in place.

          Update 5 September 2022:

          The single yellow line is in place and has stopped the lorries parking overnight,

          Wixams Parish Council Highways Proposal

          At the February 2020 meeting the Wixams Parish Council agreed a number of proposals to improve traffic and parking issues in Wixams:

          1. No parking on verge or footway sign for parts of Brooklands Avenue, Green Lane and Bedford Road.
          2. Bollards on the corner of Kingfisher Road and Brooklands Avenue.
          3. Pathway extension on Bedford Road linking to the bus stop.
          4. A pelican crossing on Green Lane.
          5. Bus shelters on Bedford Road outside the Wixams Retirement Village
          6. Yellow lines or bay parking and traffic calming (speed hump) where the road bends on Southern Cross
          7. Yellow lines on Brooklands Avenue between Bittern Lane and Knoll Gardens.
          8. No parking on footways signs along Brooklands Avenue between Piper lane, Wren Terrace and Little Owl Lane.
          9. Yellow lines along the bend of Green Lane (opposite Eagle Mews) up to the junction with Harrier Leys.
          10. "No verge parking" and "no kerb parking" roundels on the lamp columns along Bedford Road.
          11. Yellow lines on Bedford Road outside the Wixams Retirement Village.

          The full proposal can be found here. This document has been submitted to the Borough and a public consultation will take place in due course.

          Update 10 December:

          Due to roads not being adopted in Wixams and a lack of budget at Bedford Borough Council many of the options being proposed we rejected by the Highways department with suggestions made for alternatives. Cllr Coombes and the Parish Council have started work on reviewing the options available.

          Pavement Parking Ban Consultation

          This consultation is now closed.

          The Government have an open public consultation on banning parking on pavements and verges. They are proposing three options which they would like comments on:

          • Option 1: Continue the existing system whereby local authorities can already ban pavement parking in certain areas
          • Option 2: Give local authorities extra power to enforce against ‘unnecessary obstruction of the pavement’
          • Option 3: Ban pavement parking throughout England

          Parking in Wixams is a particular problem, especially in Lakeview (Village 1) where the developers deliberately reduced the available parking spaces in order to encourage residents to walk, cycle or use public transport.

          It’s clear that pavement parking can cause an obstruction to pedestrians, however there may be alternative options to resolve this in Wixams. For example, some of the pavements along Brooklands Avenue are up to 4.5 metres wide, these could be reduced and dedicated new parking spaces be created for residents.

          If pavement parking were blanket banned it would likely lead to chaos in Wixams the very next day. We therefore recommend you respond to the public consultation before the deadline on 22nd November.

          www.gov.uk/government/consultations/managing-pavement-parking/pavement-parking-options-for-change

          Borough Points of Contact

          If traffic issues in Wixams are negatively impacting your wellbeing or you have concerns about any of the issues raised on this page, please consider contacting any of the following to express your views:

          Or write to them: Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street Bedford MK42 9AP.

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