Funding announced for dualling the final section of A421
Central Bedfordshire Council has today 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.