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Dunstable Northern Bypass

Volume 514: debated on Wednesday 21 July 2010

The Petition of Dunstable Town Council in the constituency of South West Bedfordshire,

Declares that the town of Dunstable suffers serious traffic congestion; further declares that a link road between the A5 and M1 would relieve this congestion; and notes that HM Treasury approved this link on 9 December 2009.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to commence without delay the A5-M1 link as approved by HM Treasury on 9 December 2009.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Andrew Selous, Official Report, 30 June 2010; Vol. 512, c. 967 .]

[P000840]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Transport:

Draft Orders for the A5-M1 link were published on 9 December 2009, but HM Treasury has never given funding approval for this scheme. On 11 December 2009 HM Treasury approved funding for the construction of M1 Junctions 10-13 Hard Shoulder Running scheme that is now on site. This scheme is separate from the A5-M1 link.

The A5-M1 Link scheme is being prepared. However, the Public Inquiry due to be held in July this year has been postponed, in common with other Highway Agency schemes at the same stage, because it is important to ensure that there is clarity during the statutory process on the availability of funding for this scheme. Unfortunately, clarity on the availability of funding will not be available until after the Spending Review. If the scheme is prioritised in the Spending Review it would need to successfully complete the statutory process and receive final approval of the construction budget before it can proceed to site.

The Public Inquiry process could be started quickly once the outcome of the Spending Review is known in the autumn.