Beds, Herts & Bucks

Fresh hope for M1 Bedfordshire link road plans

Plans for a new dual carriageway to link the A5 and M1 in Bedfordshire have been given fresh hope.

The new route which will run east from the A5 north of Dunstable to join the M1 at a new junction 11a, was given ministerial approval last year.

But a delay in a local inquiry meant work may not start until 2013.

Central Bedfordshire Council has now offered to underwrite the cost of the public inquiry in the hope it will mean work can take place sooner.

If the inquiry does not take place soon the work will have to take place in individual stages, the council said.

A spokesman for the council said: "It is predicted that if the inquiry is postponed and the work takes place in individual stages then it could end up costing approximately £50m more than the works all happening at the same time."

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