£15 million plan to end bottleneck

MILTON Keynes Council has signed a £15 million deal for desperately-needed works to clear the M1 bottleneck at Junction 14.

Alfred McAlpine and partner Mouchel Parkman will be on site early next year after clinching the contract in competition with six other bidders.

The 15-month project will see:

* widening of the M1 slip road at the junction

* new traffic signals

* dedicated left-turn lane from the A509 to the northbound M1

* widening of the southbound A509 to three lanes

between J14 and Northfields roundabout

l new access road to the park-and-ride and provision of new 500 space park-and-ride site

There will also be improvements to Northfield, Pineham and Fox Milne roundabouts.

The scheme is being financed by a combination of Government money and the tariff developers pay towards provision of roads and other services.

The contract does not include the building promised as a replacement for the shabby coachway and for the park-and-ride.

That will come as part of a separate deal, but the council says it will be completed when the J14 upgrade is finished by March 2008.

Kevin Whiteside, the council's transport manager, said: "This is the beginning of major improvements for Milton Keynes and will be the starting block for expansion on the eastern flank of the city as well as considerable improvements to public transport."

Steve Smith, managing director of Alfred McAlpine civil engineering division, described it as a "prestigious project".