Published:  17 December, 2014

Keyline, the leading specialist supplier of heavy building materials, rail materials, civils and drainage solutions, has supplied a range of products for a new, safer design of roundabout which has been completed in Bedford, and is the first of its type in the UK.

The Union Street roundabout was previously one of the worst accident blackspots in the area, and with no option to install traffic lights, Bedford Borough Council chose an innovative roundabout design from Holland. The ‘turbo roundabout’ features plastic lane dividers which make drivers stay in their lane once they’ve entered the roundabout. The dividers encourage drivers to reduce speed, which together with the inability to change lanes means a lower likelihood of accidents, and less danger to cyclists.

The council chose Manit Contractors for this challenging project, and all of the concrete products used to construct the roundabout were supplied by Keyline, for whom Manit is one of its biggest customers. The project features Conservation Kerbs, which are shot-blasted to provide the look of granite, to fit with the council’s increasing aesthetic preference for municipal schemes across Bedford.

The project was challenging for the contractor as the roundabout had to be kept open 24 hours due to it being a very busy area (with an estimated 25,000 cars passing through each 12 hour period). Time-specific deliveries of products were required, and Keyline worked closely with the contractor to help ensure that no major traffic problems were caused during the construction.

Richard Neill, Director at Manit Contractors, said that the project had been challenging but very successful: “We have undertaken a lot of schemes for the council, and this was a testing project with staff working around the clock to ensure that it was finished to a high standard. Keyline was invaluable in providing flexibility with deliveries, and it was a big benefit that it’s Bedford branch was nearby!”

Keyline’s Account Manager responsible for the project, Nicky Phillips, commented: “This has been a really satisfying project to work on, Manit has never cut any corners, but they and the client are very happy with the result.”

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