Bedford has seen major construction work carried out with the help of civil engineering consultants recently to build a bypass. However, the opening of the highway to the public finally marks the end of the huge project.
Bedford Borough Council has announced the £18.6 million task is now complete, helping to link the A4280 at Biddenham with the A6 at the Clapham roundabout. This means drivers can journey around Bedford without having to go through it.
Plans for the bypass first surfaced 50 years ago, and it is expected that 20,000 vehicles will use it every day, easing traffic through the centre by giving drivers a speedy diversion on the motorway.
Transport minister Robert Goodwill said this road will help reduce journey times, adding: “Delivering projects like this, which pave the way for new housing and businesses, is a key part of making Bedfordshire fit for the future.”
He added that £21 billion is being spent around the UK to upgrade routes, which will help hard-working people enjoy easier journeys to and from work.
Making improvements to motorways was the focus of the Institution of Civil Engineers Roads Conference, which took place earlier this month. Engineers heard that the state of highways were in decline and need urgent attention to continue to support drivers and the country’s finances.
Indeed, mayor of Bedford Borough Dave Hodgson also stated that the bypass will boost the local economy, as people will regard it as a good place to live, work and invest in.
Work began on the bypass several years ago, with the first phase linking the A421 and the A428 completed in 2009. The last section started in autumn 2014 and the opening of the route marks the end of a long journey for the council, planners and road users.