Central Bedfordshire Council will be leading the project, working with Milton Keynes Council to deliver the upgraded 3km section, used by almost 30,000 vehicles a day. The Department for Transport announced in March that they had approved £23.5 million worth of funding from SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund for the project. Both Central Bedfordshire Council and Milton Keynes Council are each contributing up to £3 million towards the £28.5 million project.
Cllr Nigel Young, executive member for regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “As a council, we have a commitment to investing in infrastructure and providing it ahead of growth. The A421 road project supports our priorities to enhance Central Bedfordshire and the new road layout will improve east-west transport links.”
The major work on dualling the road is due to start in February and is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.
The upgraded A421 road will help improve access to planned developments in Central Bedfordshire, such as the 5,000 homes proposed in new villages in the Marston Vale area as well as 40 hectares of employment land.
The road will also help improve access to Ridgmont train station, which is due to be enlarged as part of Network Rail’s East-West Rail project.
Cllr Young said the dualled road will provide residents with greater opportunities for leisure activities, housing and employment. It will help take traffic away from local parishes, increase safety, and benefit local businesses as well as commuters.
It is also anticipated to make a significant contribution to the area, including 2,500 jobs, he added.
The road will have a 40mph speed limit for the duration of the project. Cllr Ian Dalgarno, executive member for community services, said: “We’d suggest that businesses and residents factor that into their journey times and use a suitable alternative route if they can.”
Find out more about the A421 road improvements at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/a421.