The possibility of the Leighton Buzzard southern bypass being expanded into a dual carriageway stretch of road to cope with population growth is being suggested by Leighton-Linslade Town Council.
During a meeting of the planning and transport committee, a number of housing developments were discussed, with town councillors concerned about the extra traffic they would generate.
Members resolved not to object to a reserved matters planning application for 165 homes, parking and open space at the Brickyard Quarry site off Grovebury Road.
But it will be telling Central Beds Council that it hopes provision has been made within Section 106 planning agreements for the potential dualling of the bypass in the future – although it appears unlikely to happen any time soon as Central Beds Council has told the LBO the road isn’t anywhere near its capacity.
The committee also raised no objection to two applications for housing at Clipstone Park, but said that although the land technically fell in the parish of Eggington, future residents would look to Leighton Buzzard for services and therefore Section 106 monies should be directed to the town council.
The council is also pressing for the eastern link road to be built as early as possible, and insisting that construction traffic should access the Clipstone Park via the bypass/A5 and not through the town.
Cllr Mark Freeman, who raised the possibility of dualling the bypass at the meeting, said: “I’m told the section between Grovebury Road and the Horton turn is the most congested piece of road in Leighton Buzzard.
“This [dualling] was mentioned years ago.
“The southern bypass is pretty ancient. It links to the Linslade Western Bypass which is a dual carriageway, and links to the A5-M1 Link which is dualled.
“It’s a bit dicey. It’s a safety thing and it needs to be dualled properly, but it’s money.
“If the relief road from the eastern development goes out onto the bypass then I don’t think it is capable of taking the extra vehicles.”
A spokesman for Central Beds Council said: “We did various modelling exercises as part of the reports that supported our recently submitted Local Plan.
“These included assessing increases in traffic generated by the developments, and the impact on the road of proposed growth east of Leighton-Linslade. The modelling showed that the bypass road is likely to have capacity up to the year 2035.”