Update on A421 dualling

The project is progressing well to dual the A421 between M1 J13 and Milton Keynes Magna Park which aims to improve strategic linkages, relieve congestion and enabling growth in jobs and housing in Milton Keynes and Central Bedfordshire.

A business case is being developed to secure the release of £21.5m of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT). If successful, it is anticipated work could start in spring 2017 and be completed by summer 2019.

Central Bedfordshire’s Full Council and Milton Keynes Council’s Cabinet agreed to adopt a memorandum of understanding that sets out funding contributions of £3million from each authority. They both also agreed to begin a compulsory purchase order process, and pursue this if negotiations with landowners fail to acquire the land needed to deliver the scheme.

Early indications with landowners on the MK side suggest this should not be necessary.

Preliminary design has been completed, and Ringway Jacobs has been commissioned to complete the detailed design in preparation for procurement. This is being funded by the DfT as part of the development costs for the project.

The financial estimate, based on the preliminary design, is currently £29.5million. The scheme is a DfT portfolio scheme (previously known as a retained scheme). The early release of £1million funding from DfT to support the development of the detailed scheme design has now been secured for 2016/17.

Whilst the road-widening element of the project falls within permitted development, planning applications have been submitted for a canal ‘box’ (in the Milton Keynes area); Cranfield Road overbridge (on the border) and the bridleway overbridge (Central Bedfordshire).

Permission for the first has been granted while the latter two are still awaiting decisions.

It is not known at present what traffic management requirements will be such as diversions or road closures. Anything traffic management required will be communicated to all stakeholders including members of the public. Every care will be taken to minimise disruption.

Any questions about this scheme can be directed to:
Email paul.hammond@milton-keynes.gov.uk or sarah.evans@milton-keynes.gov.uk

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