Woodside Link road opens

Link roads open

Both the A5-M1 and Woodside Link roads are now open to traffic. The Woodside Link opened on 13 April 2017, while the A5-M1 opened on 10 May 2017.

The opening of these roads represents a significant milestone in the overall regeneration of Dunstable and Houghton Regis, but there is still some work to do over the next few months.

Implementing Area Wide Weight Limits

Now the link roads are open, we will start to implement a new weight limit in Houghton Regis, Dunstable, Toddington, Chalton and many local roads to stop heavy goods vehicles using these local roads (unless they are making deliveries).

Instead, we will re-route HGVs that are just driving through to more appropriate roads, such as the new A5-M1 Link and Woodside Link roads.

This process involves changing a lot of signage on the local roads and the M1; we will also start an education programme to ensure lorry drivers understand the new weight limit restrictions.

Once the weight limits are in place, we will also increase enforcement activity to ensure that HGV drivers use the new routes. This will include additional Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology and extra enforcement officers to enforce the ban.

These processes will take a few months to implement but, once everything is in place, these towns and villages should experience less heavy traffic and we can start improving Dunstable’s high street as part of a wider regeneration project that will help restore its market town charm.

How will the weight limit restrictions affect traffic flow?

The weight limit will ensure that HGVs use the new bigger link roads, rather than Dunstable High Street and Houghton Regis town centre. The link roads will be quicker and easier for them to use.

What will the current flow of traffic look like?

The new traffic flow will see vehicles using the A5-M1 link and Woodside Link roads to get onto the M1. The new roads should see fewer vehicles using Dunstable High Street which has been detrunked and reclassified as the A5183.

Take a look at this diagram to see how the flow will look compared to the old flow.

Woodside Link new traffic flow

Woodside Link old traffic flow

What happens if the M1 closes?

There are different scenarios dependant on where the closure of the M1 takes place.

If the closure is between Junction’s 11 and 11a traffic will go through the WSL and A505 to get back onto the M1.

If the closure is between Junction’s 9 and 10 then traffic will use the A5, A505 and WSL to get back onto the M1.

Take a look at the diagrams to see how the flow of traffic looks.

Woodside Link, M1 J9 and J10

Woodside Link, M1 J11 and J11a

What happens if the A5-M1 Link closes?

Depending where the closure of the A5-M1 link is the only scenario where we will need to divert traffic back through the High Street along the A5183.

Woodside Link, A5 and M1

I’m still seeing lorries; why is this?

These changes aren’t going to happen over night and we are currently in the process off changing signs to let drivers know they can’t use the High Street. The signage is on course to be finished by the end of summer 2017. For more information visit our weight limits page.

Will I still see lorries on the high street?

There will still be some lorries using the roads as the are exemptions. These exemptions apply to emergency services, agricultural vehicles, highways maintenance vehicles and vehicles in connections with driver training or testing.

Take a look at our weights limit page for a full list of exemptions.

This is great for Dunstable but what about my area?

The weight limits are area wide to stop HGVs using villages such as Toddington and Woburn.

Take a look at our weights limit page to see all the zones, and the current and proposed areas for weight restrictions.

Will you make Dunstable High Street Improvements now

We engaged with residents in October 2016 about how we can improve the High Street once the link roads and weight limit bans have come into effect.

We’ve not forgotten about the High Street and are working with our engineers and designers to come up with some plans. We will be going back out to the public with these towards the end of 2017.

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