Motorway changes will take HGVs off rural roads

Published: 21 Apr 2017

A new junction on the M1 motorway and changes to surrounding local roads will help address some longstanding traffic issues in Hertfordshire.

The new motorway exit (11A) just north of Dunstable, along with a new link road between the M1 and the A5, which is set to open on 4 May, provides an opportunity to address residents' concerns.

Hertfordshire County Council, along with our partners Central Bedfordshire Council and Buckinghamshire County Council, has worked with Highways England to de-trunk the A5 to become the A5183 and reclassify the A4146 as the B440. The road from Leighton Buzzard to Hemel Hempstead is currently used as the shortest route to the M1 by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and will be reclassified to become the B440. Traffic surveys carried out have shown that more than 300 HGVs pass through Water End and successive villages each day. These changes will help reduce the volume of traffic using this route with the potential for a 7.5-tonne weight limit at Water End and Little Gaddesden, near Hemel Hempstead to follow.

Rob Smith, Hertfordshire County Council's Deputy Director of Environment, said: “For a long time residents have wanted to reduce the impact of HGVs, which affect the local environment and damage roads.
“The new A5 – M1 link provides a quicker route between Hemel Hempstead and Leighton Buzzard, effectively bypassing Water End and should see fewer motorists using the road. With the M1 providing the most appropriate route for through traffic, a future restriction on vehicles over 7.5 tonnes could also be introduced to reduce the numbers of HGVs using the new B440.
"We are committed to keeping traffic moving in Hertfordshire and this change will see fewer HGV travelling along inappropriate narrow roads, damaging bridges and buildings and creating unnecessary traffic, congestion and delay."

The full scheme will be completed by Autumn 2017.