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Friday, 19 October 2012
Council expresses delight at green light for A5- M1 link road
Central Bedfordshire Council has welcomed today's news that the Department of Transport is ready to give the go-ahead for the A5-M1 link road as the start of a great new future for Dunstable.
Today's announcement follows a local inquiry that was restarted earlier this year after the council brokered a £45m contribution to the scheme from local developers to add to its own contribution of £5m which has already been made available.
The Secretaries of State for Transport and Communities Local Government have said today that they are minded to accept the Inspector's recommendation that the bypass should be built. This means that the Secretary of State for Transport is committed to building the road as quickly as possible providing the developers' contribution is secured.
The 2.9 mile dual carriageway will run east from the A5 north of Dunstable to the M1 at a new junction (J11a) improving journey time reliability and safety for those travelling on the A5 in the southern part of Central Bedfordshire.
Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development for Central Bedfordshire Council, says, "I am delighted - today we mark the start of Dunstable's future. This is excellent news for Central Bedfordshire and for the local residents who have been campaigning for a bypass for many years.
"The A5 M1 Link is the most important infrastructure need for Central Bedfordshire and is pivotal to our plans to regenerate this area. It will not only relieve major traffic congestion in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and the surrounding area but the quick links with the motorway network will give businesses a huge incentive to locate here. It will provide a massive economic boost, cementing Central Bedfordshire's position as a great location for innovation and opportunity."
Earlier this month Executive councillors backed plans to progress the Woodside Link road, connecting Dunstable's industrial areas and with the M1. Detailed designs for Woodside Link are now being drawn up and land is being assembled with a view to submitting an application to the Planning Inspectorate early next year.
Work could start on both schemes as soon as 2014, subject to them successfully completing all the relevant statutory processes.
Cllr Young adds, "These key link roads, together with the Busway, will pave the way for developers to build new homes and for the A5 through Dunstable to be detrunked – allowing a heavy goods vehicle ban on Dunstable High Street to create a HGV-free town centre. This will in turn allow the council to make radical improvements to the whole of Dunstable town centre to attract more shoppers."
South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous said, "This is wonderful news for the whole of South West Bedfordshire. Traffic jams will be greatly reduced in Dunstable and Houghton Regis and villages like Totternhoe, Kensworth and Toddington will see much less through traffic. Fast direct access to the M1 and the whole motorway network, will help business growth in the town.
He added:"I pay tribute to Central Bedfordshire Council for negotiating the developer contribution, without which the road would not be built. I believe that South West Bedfordshire will now realise its full potential in creating jobs and wealth."
For more information please contact
Councillor Nigel Young is available for interviews today and can be contacted on 07956 364050.
Nigel has been working alongside Andrew Selous to bring about the A5 M1 scheme for the last 15 years.
Central Bedfordshire Council PR 1258 19/10/2012 [For Immediate Release]
For more information about Dunstable Town Centre regeneration and how the A5 M1 Link Road fits into the regeneration timeline go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/dunstable
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