Press release

New road surface for A421

Drivers on the A421 are set to benefit from an improved road surface, the Highways Agency announced today.

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A £4.5million project to resurface the A421 Bedford southern bypass between the A6 at Elstow and the A4280 at Renhold will start next week, using a different technique that will mean a better, longer lasting road surface for drivers.

The work will take place overnight for the next three months and will be carried out in two phases, improving 5.6 miles (9km) of this Bedfordshire road which is an important strategic link to and from the M1.

Highways Agency Service Delivery Team Leader, Aran Nugent said:

Anyone who uses the A421 will know what a busy road it is, and there are sections of the road surface that require repair. Normally for this type of maintenance we would replace patches of the road surface where it is needed. Here though we are taking a different approach that will mean a whole new road surface for drivers – and fewer roadworks in the future. The work has been designed to improve the surface of the road and improve safety for road users by using an efficient and effective method.

While drivers might notice a difference travelling on the A421, it will reduce the amount of time we’re on the road and will allow us to open the road to the travelling public during the day. We have planned the work to be carried out overnight, when traffic flows are at their lowest and minimise the need for future maintenance works at this location.

We ask that drivers should be aware of the temporary road surface during the day, take care travelling through the roadworks and adhere to the speed limit.

The Highways Agency is always looking for ways to improve how to maintain the country’s roads, seeking a better performing network for drivers and improved value for money for taxpayers.

The approach will mean the roadworks can be completed more quickly, the new road surface will last longer meaning less frequent roadworks in the future and offers better value for money than the traditional approach.

It will mean some changes for drivers – most noticeably that they will drive on the exposed road surface during the day, with a reduced speed limit of 40mph.

The work will continue to be carried out overnight and as many restrictions will be removed as possible during the day. It will involve closing one carriageway at a time, and is due to be completed, weather permitting, by 27 February.

The majority of work will be carried out overnight, between 8pm and 6am on weeknights only.

Work will start on Monday 17 November and will be completed by 27 February, weather permitting, and will be carried out in two phases:

  • Phase 1 will take place on the A421 eastbound carriageway. There will be overnight closures from Monday 17 November to Tuesday 23 December.
  • Phase 2 will take place on the A421 westbound carriageway. There will be overnight closures from Monday 5 January to Tuesday 27 February.

During the overnight closures clearly signed diversion routes will be in place, motorists will leave A421 at Elstow and take A6 (Ampthill Road) northbound towards Bedford town centre. At the junction with the A600 (London Road) take the A5140 (Rope Walk) to the next roundabout, take the second exit onto Longholme Way and follow the road onto Newnham Avenue, turn right at the traffic lights onto the A4280 Goldington Road and continue to the A421. The work is dependent on suitable weather conditions, and dates may be subject to change.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 12 November 2014