May 17 2017
| Region: East of England
Home Counties highway connections between east and west have been improved with the opening of a link road joining the M1 near Luton with the A5 at Dunstable.
The 4.5km dual carriageway welcomed traffic last Thursday and a new junction on the motorway (11a) connects to the adjacent 3km Woodside Way which also completed recently.
Opening of the route promises to boost the area’s economic competitiveness and take heavy vehicles away from several local communities according to Central Bedfordshire councillor Nigel Young, who is championing further new highway links east to the A6 and onto the A1.
“This road has enormous benefit for economic regeneration and its opening really is great news,” he told TP Weekly News. “Distribution companies based locally will see huge journey time savings.”
Councillor Young adds that opening of the A5/M1 link allows for a section of the old A5 to be de-trunked and for a 7.5t weight restriction to be introduced, taking heavy vehicles away from local towns and villages and improving air quality.
He added that plans for an extension of the link road east towards the A6 is now “more than an ambition” after Government awarded funding to bring the scheme forward. Councillor Young is also talking to colleagues in a neighbouring authority to see about improving the east west route up to the A1.
Highways England urged drivers in the area to take extra care as the road layout has changed with the introduction of new slip roads and the new junction.
It added that with renewed use of the hard shoulder as a traffic lane, overhead message signs on the M1 will also start displaying variable speed limit messages instead of the temporary 50MPH speed which was in place during construction.
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