Junction work heralds start on Eastern Link Road
Work on building Aylesbury's Eastern Link Road starts on Monday (16 September), with preparations for creating a junction on the A418 just outside Bierton.
The 1.3 mile northern section, with a budget of around £5 million, will be paid for and built by developers Barratt, as part of its new Kingsbrook estate. It will connect Aylesbury Road, Bierton (A418) with a roundabout at the new Bellingham Way, and is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2021.
When complete, this section will allow traffic to and from Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes to reach Aylesbury's inner ring road more directly, via the Stocklake link roads.
Monday's start on preparation work for the link road junction will be followed by main construction work from Tuesday 1 October. This may mean narrowing the lanes on the A418, but is expected to have little or no effect on traffic.
As work progresses, from 4 to 22 November off-peak traffic lights will control through traffic on the A418 between 9.30am and 3.30pm. These will operate again from 7 January until 27 March.
The Eastern Link Road will form another section of Buckinghamshire County Council's planned Orbital Route, a way to create more capacity for traffic as Aylesbury grows, linking the town's main radial routes, and drawing traffic away from the town centre.
Other 'link roads' forming the Orbital, are being built progressively on the outskirts as housing and business development is planned, and are being funded from housing developers, along with money bid for from Government sources, such as its Local Growth Fund and Housing Infrastructure Fund.
Two link roads - Martin Dalby Way (1.8m) and the half-mile Stocklake Urban - are already built, the 1.2m Stocklake Rural (Bellingham Way) link is almost complete, and the Eastern Link Road northern section is now under construction.
The 1.2m southern section of the Eastern Link Road, and a separate 1.6m Southern link Road, with target completion dates of late 2021, are included in planning applications for housing and business estates at Woodlands and Hampden Fields, which have resolution to grant planning permission subject to finalising legal agreements.
The proposed South West Aylesbury link road, running south parallel with the line of HS2 from the A418 Oxford Road, is subject to a live planning application, while plans for the South East Aylesbury link road, connecting Wendover Road with Lower Road are currently being developed by the County Council for submission in the near future. HS2 are also proposing a Stoke Mandeville Relief Road as part of their mitigation.
Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, said: "Make no mistake, we're on the move with investment in Buckinghamshire's roads network, and Aylesbury's Orbital route is a vital part of this. We're committed to providing it.
"I'd like to be able to build the Orbital in its entirety much more quickly," said Mark. "But our pace of progress depends very much on developer contributions and obligations, and on central government funding for major infrastructure projects. There are two outstanding links that we continue to promote, and are currently marked as long-term.”
"I do understand the frustration expressed by residents and businesses at the pace of progress with infrastructure planning, but we are moving forward as quickly as the funding, planning, land acquisition and availability of contractors allow us."
IN THE PICTURES
Location of the planned Eastern link Road junction with the A418, Aylesbury Road, Bierton. INSET: Mark Shaw: Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member