Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton bypass plan is a 'lunatic scheme', says councillor

Map of link road Image copyright Central Bedfordshire Council
Image caption The new road would be 2.75 miles (4.4km) long and could create part of a northern bypass for Luton, said Central Bedfordshire Council

A proposed new link road has been described as a "lunatic scheme" by a councillor at a neighbouring authority.

Central Bedfordshire Council wants to build the M1 to A6 Link Road to the north of Luton, to relieve congestion and ease traffic on local rat-runs.

But David Franks, a Liberal Democrat member of Luton Borough Council, said the scheme did not make "sense."

The road is subject to planning permission, and if granted, work could start in 2020.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) reported that Mr Franks told the Luton council executive committee meeting: "This is a lunatic scheme which is going to make even more east-west traffic use New Bedford Road, Stockingstone Road and Hitchin Road, rather than the signposted route".

"And I really completely fail to understand why CBC have come up with a scheme like this.

"It doesn't make any sense. There's no logic behind it; none whatsoever."

A spokeswoman for Central Bedfordshire Council said: "It is likely to take traffic away from the busy Luton town centre and onto larger and more suitable roads instead, thereby providing a better route for traffic to get to Luton Airport, which has ambitions to expand, as well as providing an excellent link through to jobs in the expanding business parks in Chalton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis."

She said the road was supported by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, which Luton Borough Council was part of.

Labour Lewsey councillor Aslam Khan claimed the scheme, which could be 2.75 miles (4.4km) long, with single- and dual-carriageway stretches and a 50mph (80km) speed limit, would "considerably" increase traffic.

Image copyright Andrew Tatlow/Geograph
Image caption The new link road, from junction 11a at Dunstable, will meet the A6 to the north of Luton, close to Streatley

A consultation on the proposal, which will also see a significant number of new homes and a rail freight interchange built in Sundon, is running until 22 May.

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