A5-M1 Link Gets Approval

First published 12:03 19/10/2012. Updated 17:50 19/10. Updated 12:20 20/10/12.
At long last, the A5-M1 link, has been given the thumbs up, by the Government, the Department of Transport announces today.
The Secretaries of State for Transport and Communities Local Government 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. A final decision is only dependent on the developers contributing £45 million and Central Bedfordshire Council £5 million. Both these contributions are on track to be made. Work is due to start in 2014 and cannot start sooner as power lines have to be moved next summer when demand is lower, before work can begin.

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. Leighton Buzzard and Linslade will get fast direct access to the M1 and the whole motorway network, which will help business growth in the town and Aylesbury will also benefit. I called for the bypass to be built in my maiden speech in 2001 and shortly afterwards presented a 25,000 signature petition to Parliament requesting the road be built. Alistair Darling announced the road would be built on 9th July 2003 and the delay since then has been appalling and has held back economic growth and job creation. 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. “

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."

Cllr Peter Williams, CBC ward councillor for Tithe Farm, Houghton Regis, said, "The Liberal Democrats welcome this news. For Houghton Regis, the link road has one connection, at Bedford Road, apart from the connections at the M1 and the A5. We didn't want connections anywhere else. The issue will come when the Woodside Link proposals come out. We do not want to have heavy vehicles and cars from the M1 streaming down Sundon Road causing danger and congestion in Houghton Regis.