left to right: Karen Jones, Public Liaison Officer for Morgan Sindall; Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South; Judith Barker of South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP); Dimple Somerton, Project lead at Milton Keynes Council; Tracey Harris, Assistant Director of Highways and Environment at Central Bedfordshire Council; Grant McConochie of Morgan Sindall; Sean Miles of Morgan Sindall; Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council; Councillor Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Public Realm at Milton Keynes Council; Michael Williams, A421 Project lead at Central Bedfordshire Council. Image: Central Central Bedfordshire

Local MP Iain Stewart updated on the progress of the new dual-carriage way

Today (Friday 7 June), local MP Iain Stewart visited the A421 site to take a look at the progress that Central Bedfordshire Council and its contractors have made on the latest leg of a project to upgrade a key section of the road into dual carriageway.

Central Bedfordshire Council and Milton Keynes Council have been working in partnership to upgrade 3km of the road. This is to improve links between Junction 13 of the M1 motorway in Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. Around 30,000 vehicles a day use the road.

The improvements have been supported with £23.5m investment from SEMLEP through their Local Growth Fund, as well as £3m from each council.

As well as being the MP for Milton Keynes South, Mr Stewart is also the Government’s ‘East-West Champion’ for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. So he has a particular interest as the A421 helps underpin the proposed Oxford-Cambridge Expressway.

Time-lapse video of the demolition of Cranfield Road bridge

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, executive member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said:

“The proposed Expressway road route will help to create opportunities both here and for the wider area to become the UK’s Silicon Valley, delivering growth in science, technology and innovation.”

Mr Stewart took a tour of the site and watched a time-lapse video of the demolition of Cranfield Road bridge. The demolition took place the previous weekend (31 May to 3 June).

The bridge demolition work went so well that the road reopened to the public at 1:30am on Monday morning, several hours ahead of schedule.

The Cranfield Road bridge is now closed for up to 12 months whilst a longer replacement road bridge is constructed that will span the wider A421.

Currently, there are no safe routes for pedestrians across the A421. A new footbridge will be constructed towards Hulcote. This will provide access for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, who will also be able to enjoy four extended public rights of way.

There will also be a new cycleway and a 3-metre wide footway along the southern side of the future dual carriageway, leading to the new footbridge.

The new dual carriageway is expected to be ready by the end of 2020.