A421 Dualling up to Junction 13, M1

A421 Dualling Project - update February 2019

Good progress is being made to upgrade and widen the A421 from Eagle Farm roundabout, Milton Keynes up to Junction 13, M1.

The planned weekend closures of Cranfield Road in January went ahead with minimal disruption to the public. 

Two bridges need to be extended to go over the wider A421 and M1 Cranfield Road Bridge and a footbridge near Hulcote.

Road closures will be needed for the safety of workers and the public.

Road closures are limited to the least busy times wherever possible and if work finishes early, the roads will be re-opened sooner to minimise disruption.

 

Next Planned Weekend Road Closures

The A421 (from Eagle Farm roundabout to Junction 13 of the M1) and Cranfield Road Bridge will be closed from 8.00pm on Friday 15 February 2019 until 6.00am on Monday 18 February 2019.

We will lift and put in place three sections of the temporary bridge which will carry services over the existing A421 and M1, whilst demolishing the Cranfield Road Bridge.

There will be a crane lifting each section into place. These closures are subject to the approval of traffic management plans and the weather. The bridge lift cannot be undertaken in high winds. 

Sufficient time has been allocated into the weekend closure to complete the bridge lift, however if we are unable to complete this work then a contingency date has been agreed from 8pm on 22 February to 6am on 25 February 2019.                                        

 

Cranfield Road Bridge Closure

To extend the permanent bridge on Cranfield Road,  the road will need to be closed from May 2019. The bridge is expected to be closed for up to fourteen months whilst the road improvements are done. The contractor is looking at ways to reduce this period, if possible.

 

Diversion Routes:

You can view the diversion route on the project webpage at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/transport/a421/road-closures.aspx

You can also sign up for A421 email alerts using the above link to get the latest information on this project and any A421 road closures. 

The Council apologises for any inconvenience caused and thanks you and your residents for your patience during these roadworks. 

Email - A421@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

 

Background

MK Council is working in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council on a project to continue dualling the A421 from Magna Park up to Junction 13 of the M1.

This project will continue where the Pinch Point scheme finished at the Eagle Farm roundabout. Dualling the road will ease congestion ahead of expansion in the east of MK.

 

When will the work start?

Preparatory site work on the A421 road will start in September 2018 ahead of dualling the remaining section running from Magna Park in Milton Keynes to the roundabouts adjacent to junction 13 of the M1. The majority of this stretch falls in Central Bedfordshire Council’s area and so they will be leading the project, working with MK Council to deliver the upgraded section, which is 3km long and used by almost 30,000 vehicles a day.

The A421 forms a key section of the strategic east-west corridor, and helps underpin the proposed future Oxford-Cambridge Expressway. The Expressway is part of the proposed infrastructure which will help to create opportunities for the wider area to become the UK’s Silicon Valley, delivering growth in science, technology and innovation.

 

How is it being funded?

The initial work on the A421 is starting after the Department for Transport announced in March that they had approved £23.5 million worth of funding from SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund for the project. Both Central Bedfordshire Council and MK Council are each contributing up to £3million towards this £28.5million project.

The A421 road project supports both council's joint priorities to enhance the MK/Central Bedfordshire transport links, and the new road layout will improve east-west transport links too. The upgraded road will provide future and existing residents with greater opportunities for leisure activities, housing and employment. It will also help take traffic away from local parishes, increase safety, and benefit local businesses as well as commuters. The widened road is anticipated to make a significant contribution to the area, including 2,500 jobs.

 

How will this benefit MK?

As well as easing congestion, the upgraded A421 road will help improve access to planned developments in Central Bedfordshire, such as the 5,000 homes proposed in new villages in the Marston Vale area, as well as 40 hectares of employment land. The upgraded road will also help improve access to Ridgmont train station, which is due to be enlarged as part of Network Rail’s East-West Rail project.

The initial preparatory A421 roadworks will run to February, and will involve clearing the site, putting in new boundary fencing, and relocating utilities company pipes and cables. Every effort is being made to minimalise disruption to road users as far as possible, but a 40mph speed limit is needed for the safety of the construction crews preparing the stretch. We’d suggest that businesses and commuters factor that into their journey times, and use a suitable alternative route if they can.

There are weight limits zones in surrounding villages, which will be enforced by the police, so we’d emphasise that lorries should still keep to the main roads for their routes. If at any point we do need to make temporary road closures for extra safety, we will advise the public. In the advent of a closure, there will be details of diversion routes on our website, and updates on social media.

There will also be regular updates posted on our social media channels of any diversions, closures or other news about the project.

Last Updated: 16 February 2019