£16m funding for ‘missing link’ of Bedford Western Bypass

Mayor Dave Hodgson.
Mayor Dave Hodgson.

A grant of almost £16m has been secured to fund the final section of the Bedford Western Bypass, and work should start this year.

The completion of the ‘missing link’ of the Western Bypass can now move ahead with plans to secure the land required.

Bedford Borough Council has secured grant funding totalling nearly £16million to deliver the final section and is now set to publish Compulsory Purchase Orders to secure the land required for construction.

The council has confirmed it is now in a position to fund the construction of the final section itself and is no longer relying on financial contributions from the adjacent housing development.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “A completed Bedford Western Bypass will deliver new investment and jobs, ease congestion and get Bedford moving.

“We are continuing to work closely with landowners to overcome any remaining obstacles as well as reaching agreement on the development of land surrounding the bypass, which was intended to help fund the construction of the road itself.

“However, to ensure this vital project is not at the mercy of private landowners and developers we have also pursued grant funding opportunities and it is excellent news we have now secured the funding necessary to pay for the road outright.

“The case for a completed western bypass has been clear for more than 30 years and securing the money required means we have taken a major step forward to turn this pipe dream into a reality.”

The council has secured £4million in Growth Area Funding, £4.975million from the Homes and Communities Agency, £4.5million from the Department for Transport and the principle of a £2.5 million allocation from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

The legal procedures to acquire the land and powers needed will now start in earnest.

It is hoped that construction can begin in 2014 and is expected that it will take 18 months to complete.