Government gives go-ahead to resume A5-M1 Link inquiry

Sep 25, 2011


The announcement has been welcomed by Central Bedfordshire Council and South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous, who both say that the road is vital for the area’s economic development.
The 2.9 mile dual carriageway would run east from the A5 north of Dunstable to the M1 at a new junction (J11a) and will bring great economic, environmental and sustainable benefits for the whole area, as well as improving journey time reliability and safety.
The public inquiry had been postponed as part of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review earlier this year because of uncertainty over the availability of funding.
However, Roads Minister Mike Penning has now given the go-ahead following a contribution from developers Lands Improvement Holdings and Friends Life Company. The inquiry is expected to start next year.
Mr Selous (pictured), who has campaigned for the bypass for more than a decade, said: "The deal with the developers and the restarting of the public inquiry is fantastic news for jobs and the local economy, including Leighton Buzzard, which will get fast direct access to the national motorway network."
The A5 M1 Link is the most important infrastructure need for Central Bedfordshire, and subject to the scheme successfully completing all the relevant statutory processes, work could start as soon as 2014.
Cllr Ken Matthews, executive member for strategic planning and economic development for Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "This is excellent news for Central Bedfordshire. This much-needed bypass will not only relieve major traffic congestion for Dunstable and Houghton Regis and the surrounding area, but provide a massive economic boost, cementing Central Bedfordshire’s position as a great location for innovation and opportunity.
“There is still a long way to go until the scheme is built, but this is a very positive step in the right direction."
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