Central Bedfordshire Council has put in a planning application for its proposed M1 to 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. Subject to planning approval and securing funding, construction could commence in 2020. It is estimated that construction will take two years.
The existing A6 road has approximately 26,000 vehicles on it each day. The new link road would help to relieve current congestion and improve safety on the A6 into Luton, as well as ease traffic on the local village roads used as rat-runs, such as Lower Sundon, Upper Sundon and Streatley. There are also a number of suggested upgrades to the local footpaths, cycleways and bridleways.
The new road would be 2.75 miles (4.4km) long and could create part of a northern bypass for Luton. The submitted layout is a mixture of single and dual carriageway, with a 50mph speed limit. There would be junctions to a proposed new Rail Freight Interchange at Sundon and to proposed new housing developments.
The road will be critical to supporting a significant number of proposed 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 the Rail Freight Interchange could generate a further 1,000 jobs on 40 hectares of employment land.
Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Business and Regeneration, said: “Building this new road will benefit both existing communities and new communities. This route will be critical to delivering the wider infrastructure needed for our residents and business at the heart of the Oxford to Cambridge Corridor. In the last few years, we have built new links roads to the west of the M1 junction 11a that have opened up that part of the region. If we can then link those up to the A6, we can ease congestion and further boost the economic potential of the area, opening up opportunities for businesses, including better access to Luton Airport, and creating jobs at Sundon.”
The public can find out more about the road at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/M1-A6. The planning documents are available online, reference CB/19/00887/FULL at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/planning