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Bedfordshire Council Submits Business Case to Secure Funds for M1-A6 Link Road

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Bedfordshire Council Submits Business Case to Secure Funds for M1-A6 Link Road

Bedfordshire Council Submits Business Case to Secure Funds for M1-A6 Link Road
Bedfordshire Council Submits Business Case to Secure Funds for M1-A6 Link Road
Bedfordshire Council Submits Business Case to Secure Funds for M1-A6 Link Road

Central Bedfordshire Council has submitted a business case to the Department for Transport to gain access to funds for the 2.75-mile project.

The planned M1-A6 link road will join the junction 11a of the motorway, at Dunstable, to the A6 north of Luton. Plans for the road were announced in January 2020.

A railway interchange and 3,600 news homes are also set to be built along the road.

Conservative Caddington councillor Kevin Collins has stated that the road will improve access to Leighton Linslade, Houghton Regis, Luton Airport, and Dunstable. It is also predicted to reduce traffic congestion throughout Luton and local villages and attract better businesses.

The railway interchange at Sundon will be an efficient method of transporting goods between the M1 and Midland Main Line.

Besides allowing up to 3,600 new homes, the road will also support 40 hectares of warehouses and distribution centres.

Central Bedfordshire Council has already secured more than £32 million from the government. It opened the business case to gain access to the total £61.5 million required for the project.

The Conservative council seeks to forward the paper to the executive and have the full business case signed by the Secretary of State.

However, whether the funding will be approved or not is still to be seen.

Independent Toddington councillor Mary Walsh was strongly opposed to the plan, stating that Highways England still lacks sufficient traffic monitoring reports.

She further added that several potential areas of expenditure are still unknown, so coming up with authentic business cases shouldn't be plausible.

The Central Bedfordshire Council has countered that any project of this magnitude has its inherent risks, but the overall approach to the financial estimation has been reasonably prudent.

Plus, having the business case signed only allows them to secure funds from the Department of Transport; it doesn't permit them to spend those funds unregulated.

Councillor Walsh further added that the road funds were estimated at £64 million a long time ago. By now, that number should only have increased and added to the gap between the secured £32 million and the actual budget.

However, a majority decision agreed to forward the report to the executive, and the Central Bedfordshire Council is now seeking its remaining funds.

The council believes it has adequately presented the social, economic, and environmental advantages of the project. If the funding is not secured, it will attempt to find other ways of continuing the project.

If the government approves the road, work may start as soon as the end of 2021.

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