Work has begun on clearing the site of the A421 after a successful bid for £8.81million of Government funding to turn the road into a dual carriageway
The project is aimed at easing congestion at ‘bottleneck’ areas including the A421 and Kingston roundabout. Now work has been officially started by Milton Keynes Council to clear the areas around the A421 from Fen Farm to Eagle Farm roundabouts ahead of the project starting.
The site clearance work will take place outside of peak hour traffic to minimise delays. Main construction work is expected to run from July 2014 to mid-2015. The site clearance taking place now will help to protect wildlife, particularly birds before they start nesting.
At the same time, the Kingston roundabout will also be improved by enlarging a signalised junction and widening stop lines to accommodate three lanes. Work is expected to start on that in April.
The schemes will cost around £17m in total and the remainder of the funding will come from developer contributions.
Council Leader Andrew Geary has indicated further improvements to the A421 could be possible, as a bid for further funding to dual the remaining section is to be included in the SEMLEP Strategic Economic Plan.
Milton Keynes Council and Central Bedfordshire Council have worked together to ensure the A421 extended dualling is included in the bid, which along with the A421 scheme covers a range of projects across the wider South East Midlands region.
Mr Geary said: “This particular stretch of road is a key strategic route for Milton Keynes because of the proximity to Magna Park and the M1, and it will also serve the future developments north and south of the A421. As such it’s very important that we seek all available opportunities to bid for funding and other support to keep investing in local infrastructure.
“Improvements to the A421 such as this, which will help to keep Milton Keynes a thriving economy, have a wider positive impact on the region. That’s why we’ve been working with Central Bedfordshire Council and SEMLEP colleagues to include it in the SEMLEP Strategic Economic Plan.”
Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Central Bedfordshire Council are delighted that pinch point funding has come forward to allow these improvements to take place to the Kingston Roundabout and a section of the A421 within Milton Keynes. These works are vital in going a long way to reducing the current congestion that occurs along the A421 from M1 Junction 13 and A5130 from Woburn Sands.
“Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Councils are working together to ensure the A421 extended dualling to M1 junction 13 is included in the future round of bids for funding within the South East Midland Local Enterprise Partnership strategic economic plan.”
Councillor David Hopkins, ward member for Danesborough, said: “I’m delighted that the work is now starting on site to improve the A421. It’s a busy road and dualling the highway will make a real difference to local congestion. Hopefully we’ll receive further funding to make additional improvements as Milton Keynes continues to grow.”