Lord McKenzie of Luton, Minister for the Department for Work and Pensions, unveiled the East Luton Corridor, the biggest highways project ever undertaken by Luton Borough Council.
Luton’s main business corridor will now be linked for the first time to London and the national motorway network by dual carriageway, which will boost the town’s development and business growth potential.
Luton Borough Council director of environment and regeneration Colin Chick (pictured) said: “It has been a challenging journey but the end result is a new road that is not only a feat of engineering excellence but a critical player in the regeneration of the town.
“In Luton one of our long-term aims is to sustain the economic and employment expansion and diversify the employment base into high-technology manufacturing, aviation, construction and blue chip companies. This road will help us to achieve it.”
Portfolio holder for regeneration Cllr Roy Davis said: “It is not possible to overstate the importance that this new road link will make to the expansion and development not only of Luton but the regeneration and development of the wider area.”
It would improve journeys to and from London Luton Airport, he added.
The East Luton Corridor has comprised the upgrading of the A1081 and A505 to dual carriageway, a new bus-only route from Luton Parkway Station to the airport and a new dual carriageway between Airport Way and Percival Way leading to the airport.
The road runs alongside Capability Green business park and provides easy access to the new Butterfield Business Park.
Its construction has led to the start of the redevelopment of the old Vauxhall car plant site as Napier Park and its sister site Stirling Place.
Work on further transport improvements is due to start later this year. The £84 million Luton Dunstable Busway Scheme will create a guided busway along the disused railway line between Luton and Dunstable, linking the town centres of Luton, Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Luton Airport Parkway station and London Luton Airport.
Luton Borough Council is working to secure further funding for £20million of improvement works to the M1 at junction 10A. It has already won £1 million of Growth Area funding to develop the engineering and environmental design work.