Central Bedfordshire secures funds to dual the A421 J13 to MK ready for housing expansion

Government funding for final part of A421 upgrade announced 22 March 2018

Central Beds Press Release
Central Bedfordshire Council has today (22 March 2018) learnt that it has secured £22.5
million worth of funding from the Department for Transport to complete the
dualling of the A421 road from Magna Park in Milton Keynes to the
roundabouts in Central Bedfordshire by junction 13 of the M1. The funding
is being announced today in person by the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP*,*
Secretary of State for Transport whilst visiting the Amazon distribution
centre, which is located in Central Bedfordshire adjacent to where the new
road layout will be built.

Central Bedfordshire Council will be leading the project, working with
Milton Keynes Council, to deliver the upgraded section of the existing
A421. The new road layout will improve east-west transport links by
widening this last remaining section, which is used by almost 30,000
vehicles a day. Both Central Bedfordshire Council and Milton Keynes Council
are each contributing up to £3million towards this £28.5million project.

Cllr James Jamieson, the Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We
are delighted to receive the confirmation of this government funding. As a
council we have a commitment to investing in infrastructure and
providing it ahead of growth to ensure that’s sustainable. The A421 road
project supports our priorities to enhance Central Bedfordshire.

“The upgraded road will provide future and existing residents with improved
infrastructure that will open up opportunities for leisure activities,
housing and employment. It will also help take traffic away from local
parishes, increase safety, and benefit businesses and commuters. The
widened road is anticipated to make a significant contribution to the area,
including 2,500 jobs.”

Patrick Faulkner, General Manager of the Amazon facilities at Ridgmont,
said: “One of the reasons we came here was the great links to Britain’s
transport networks and our ability to find great people to join Amazon to
prepare orders for our customers. Our job is to meet our promise to
customers to deliver their orders when they need them. We welcome this new
investment that will help open up the transport network and help us meet
our promise to customers.

“We also fulfil millions of orders for small businesses selling on Amazon
Marketplace. Half of the stock in our UK fulfilment centres is owned by the
thousands of businesses that sell on Amazon, including those in
Bedfordshire and the South Midlands, so anything that helps us and them get
our orders to customers more quickly is good news.”

The project completes the overall dualling of the A421 road between Milton
Keynes and Bedford. This last stage of the A421 road dualling project runs
from junction 13 of the M1 motorway up to Eagle Farm Roundabout and is 3km
in length, the majority of this stretch falling in Central Bedfordshire.
The A421 forms a key section of the strategic east-west corridor, and helps
underpin the proposed future Oxford-Cambridge Expressway. The Expressway is
part of the proposed infrastructure which will help to create opportunities
for the wider area to become the UK’s Silicon Valley, delivering growth in
science, technology and innovation.

The widened carriageway will need two bridges to be extended: the Cranfield
Road bridge, plus another footbridge near Hulcote that will safely take
pedestrians, horseriders and cyclists over the A421 (via four public rights
of way). The road works for the improvements are anticipated to take 18-24
months.

*Notes to Editors*

The £22.5m funding announced today by the Department for Transport (DfT)
for the A421 project is allocated from their Local Growth Fund (LGF), which
is administered by SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise
Partnership). A further £1m was previously awarded by the Local Transport
Board to support the exploration and development of the project during
2016-2017.

*The improved A421 road will also help improve access to planned
developments in Central Bedfordshire, such as the 5,000 homes proposed in
new villages in the Marston Vale area as detailed in Central Bedfordshire
Council’s Local Plan, and 40 hectares of employment land. *The road also
helps to link with key destinations, including East West Rail at a future
upgraded Ridgmont train station.

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