A421 M1 - Bedford

Scheme outline

Realignment of the A421 onto a new dual two-lane alignment, bypassing towns on the route and connecting directly to the existing Bedford bypass. The new route will include two new grade-separated junctions and will flow straight on to the existing Bedford bypass. M1 junction 13 will be reconstructed to provide a terminus for the route.

Uniquely, at the Kempston end, a deal has been struck with the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Project whereby the contractors will "cut the soil channel" for the first brand new section of canal in over a hundred years. It will run parallel with the new road for about 8 Km (5 miles).

This scheme was completed in and we're no longer accepting updates or changes to this page.

Bypass or realignment
for use by all traffic
Highway authority
Central Government


14 May 2006

Public exhibitions are held close to the road's route. Draft orders are expected to be published in Autumn.

23 October 2008

Site clearance work is due to start on 28 October.

13 February 2009

Major work is due to start in February 2009.

18 March 2009

Work on building the new bridge across the M1 commenced on 19 February. Work on diverting roundabouts commences March 2009 and is anticipated to last until the autumn.

23 November 2009

The bridge over the M1 is now in place. There are no current restrictions on M1 traffic.

9 April 2010

The Highway Agency's contractors are cracking on well ready for a December 2010 opening of the new road. Bridge beams are in place over the Marston Vale railway, whilst the two new grade-separated junctions are also in the process of having their bridge beams installed. The A421 at M1 junction 13 will be diverted onto its new alignment at the end of April 2010, with the troublesome traffic signals east of junction 13 being replaced by a new roundabout opening at the same time.

25 December 2010

The new road opened to traffic on the first of December.

More information


With thanks to Michael Pritchard, Stephen Field, M Stephens and Kodzo Selormey for information on this page.