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Western Bypass


Final phase of Bedford Western Bypass to open on 25 April


•             Bypass to be opened by Mayor Dave Hodgson on Monday 25 April

•             Major £18.6 million scheme delivered on time and in budget

•             Scheme will help ease congestion and boost the local economy


Bedford Borough Council is pleased to announce that the northern section of the Bedford Western Bypass will be opened on 25 April.


The final works are currently taking place on the road, which will be named The Great Ouse Way, in time for its official opening by Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson. Following the opening ceremony, motorists and residents alike will benefit from a new road that will ease congestion, reduce delays and connect the A4280 at Biddenham with the A6 at Clapham, improving the traffic infrastructure of the Borough overall.


The project has been delivered in partnership with contractors Breheny Civil Engineering on time and within the £18.6 million budget, the majority of which the Council was successful in winning from external sources.


Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “This project has featured in plans for over half a century, so we’re delighted to have cleared the logjams and got the road built and ready to welcome traffic before the end of the month. The new route means traffic travelling beyond Bedford from the north or south will no longer need to use the busy roads and junctions in the town, helping to ease congestion. It’s great news for the local economy as it will encourage more investment and jobs, and crucially it will simply help all road users to get into and around town.”


A complete Bedford Western Bypass has featured in local and national plans for over 50 years. The first phase of the bypass, the Branston Way, links the A421 to the south west of Bedford and Kempston with the A4280 at Bromham. The Council broke the logjam blocking the final section via a successful Compulsory Purchase Order and a series of negotiations with various parties, enabling construction to begin in autumn 2014.


The project will allow 1,200 new homes, including affordable dwellings, to be constructed and will also enable the creation of a new employment park providing 650 new jobs.


In addition to Bedford Borough Council’s own financial commitment, it also secured contributions to the scheme from The Department for Transport, The Home and Communities Agency and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.


Contractors Breheny Civil Engineering won the tender to construct the road, which has involved building a bridge over the busy Midland Main Line and creating a new pedestrian subway.


Wildlife conservation has been a key consideration during the works. New planting and pond areas have been introduced to support the existing ecosystem and allow it to continue to thrive.


New wildflower meadows have been created over an area of 40,000m2, equivalent to the size of four football pitches.


Other measures to protect local wildlife include fencing to prevent badgers straying onto the carriageway and the construction of a new artificial badger sett.


To find out more about the Bedford Western Bypass project, visit www.bedford.gov.uk/westernbypass    

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