Bypass is go

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The final stage of the long-awaited Bedford Western Bypass could be completed soon after council chiefs issued a compulsory purchase order for key areas of land.

This week it was announced that Bedford Borough Council has issued the order, so it can buy land needed to finish the final 2.2km of road needed to link Biddenham and Bromham with the A6.

Landowners have the right to contest the order, and the deadline for this is December 2, a date for building works to start has not yet been revealed.

Councillor Charles Royden, portfolio holder for environment and transport at Borough Hall praised the move.

He said: “After waiting for 30 years for a bypass the compulsory purchase order has been served. We need to complete this bypass and residents should not have had to wait.

“It is absolutely vital that we have the final stage of the bypass to help us get Bedford moving, and that’s what this order is doing. When he was elected the mayor said this was one of his key objectives and now it is happening.”

The compulsory purchase order has been sent to around 80 interested parties and if all goes well construction would start in 2013.

It is thought that around 19,000 vehicles would use the road every day, which would alleviate congestion from Shakespeare Road and the Biddenham area of Bedford.

In 2009 the then-Mayor of Bedford, Frank Branston set up a Back The Bypass campaign, which was designed to raise public awareness and funds to complete the final stage of the project.

The first phase of the bypass, between the A421 and A428, opened in December 2009, but at that time there was no funding allocated to complete the final section after a deal with property developers fell through.

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