Central Bedfordshire Council is to hold a series of public drop-in events to share early plans for a proposed M1-A6 Link Road. The new strategic link road would run from the A6 Barton Road to junction 11a of the M1 motorway, joining up to the A5-M1 Link Road, to provide a strategically important east-west link.
The proposed new road would be 2.75 miles (4.4km) long and could create part of a northern bypass for Luton. The preferred layout would have a 50mph speed limit and be a mixture of single and dual carriageway, with junctions to a new Rail Freight Interchange at Sundon and proposed new housing development.
The existing A6 road has approximately 26,000 vehicles on it each day. A new link road would help to relieve current congestion and improve safety in Luton, as well as ease traffic on the local village roads used as rat-runs, such as Lower Sundon, Upper Sundon and Streatley. The plans also suggest a number of upgraded footpaths, cycleways and bridleways in the area.
The new road will be critical to support the proposed 4,000 new local homes on the northern edge of Luton, this development also includes 20 hectares of employment land creating local jobs. The suggested new sub-regional Rail Freight Interchange would help transfer goods from the M1 to the Midland Mainline and beyond, shifting more freight from road to rail. It is anticipated that it could generate a further 1,000 jobs on 40 hectares of employment land.
Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Building this new road will benefit both existing communities and new communities by easing congestion, opening up opportunities for business and creating jobs.
“Last year we built new links roads to the west of the junction 11a that have opened up that part of the region. If we can then link up to the A6, we can further boost the economic potential of the area.”
The public can find out more about the proposed road at a series of public drop-in events on the following dates and locations:
- Tuesday 17 July from 12 - 19.00hrs at Streatley Village Hall
- Monday 23 July from 14.00 - 20.00hrs at Houghton Regis Baptist Church
- Thursday 26 July from 14.00 - 20.00hrs at Chalton Village Hall
- Monday 30 July from 14.00 - 20.00hrs at St John’s Parish Centre in Sundon Park Road, Luton.
A planning application for the new road is scheduled for submission in 2019. Subject to planning approval and securing funding, construction could commence in 2020. It is estimated that construction will take two years.
More information on the scheme is available at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/M1-A6
The M1-A6 Link Road has been supported by South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) with a Local Growth Fund allocation of £32.75M. Due to the size of the investment, the Department for Transport will have to finally approve the scheme and the funding for the scheme to commence from March 2020. Further private developer funding will provide the remaining finances.