Giving back your high street in Dunstable

About the project

In consultation with Highways England, we are planning to carry out improvements to Dunstable’s High Street.

The High Street is currently a trunk road (the A5) and runs through the centre of Dunstable. As a trunk road, Highways England is currently responsible for maintaining and managing the road, along with the M1. We are responsible for all of the other roads in Dunstable.

Dunstable High Street had become a main through-route to the M1. Over the years, the traffic passing through the town has increased, leading to congestion and air pollution. This traffic has had a serious impact on the High Street, making it less safe and more difficult to walk and cycle around. A large number of heavy goods vehicles used the road and added to the congestion and safety issues in the high street.

To help alleviate this problem, we built a new road; the Woodside Link (link opens in new window) and Highways England built the A5-M1 Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass). These roads opened in April and May 2017 respectively.

Now that these new roads are open, Highways England will handover responsibility for managing and maintaining the High Street to us and the process of de-trunking the High Street can begin. The High Street will no longer be the A5, it will be come the A5183. Together with Highways England, we've also started to change road signs to reflect the new road designations and direct traffic to use the new roads.

We will also start to implement a weight limit in the surrounding area to stop heavy goods vehicles going through the centre of Dunstable (unless they are making deliveries). This process will take a few months but, once it's been completed, Dunstable town centre should have much less traffic (particularly heavy goods vehicles) and we can start to make some improvements to the High Street.

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