Yesterday (Thursday) the Council learnt that it had been granted an additional £21.75m allocation from the Government’s third round of local growth funding which it secured via the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). The road would connect into the new Junction 11a of the M1 and alongside the A5-M1 Link.
Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration at CBC, said: “The Council has underwritten this project to advance its delivery and therefore welcomes this announcement. Central Bedfordshire is an area of high growth potential, with significant demand for jobs and homes. Building this road is part of our coordinated strategic approach to unlocking our logistics network to generate and support sustainable growth in the region.
“This route will critical to delivering the wider infrastructure needed for our residents and business at the heart of the Oxford to Cambridge Corridor. A new road linking the M1 at the new junction 11a with the A6 will not only help boost the economic growth of the immediate area, including Luton Airport, but will also help growth in Houghton Regis, Leighton Linslade, and Dunstable, whilst relieving the current pressures on local roads and communities.”
Last year the Government confirmed a sum of £11m to kick-start the project. Further private developer funding will make up the difference towards the overall scheme cost, which is currently estimated at approximately £55m.
The proposed link road would be 4.4km long, effectively forming a northern bypass for Luton. This area has the potential to deliver significant growth, including employment land, community facilities and open spaces, and provision of a new sub-regional rail freight interchange, as well as new homes for local housing needs.
The road would provide a strategically important east-west link serving not just the Luton-Dunstable conurbation, but the wider sub-region. Providing a new enhanced connection to the wider strategic road network, it will also complement other proposed national east-west corridor schemes such as the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and East West Rail.