Woodside Link road

About the Woodside Link road scheme


The Woodside Link connects Houghton Regis and the Dunstable industrial estates to the M1 junction 11a.

It opened to the public on 13 April, 2017. We have built the road to tackle current heavy traffic and poor air quality in the local towns and villages and to provide vital infrastructure ahead of its plans to bring future business and housing growth to the area.

The A5 through Dunstable is being 'detrunked' to take heavy goods vehicles away from the town centres.

A 7.5 tonne weight limit will come into operation for Houghton Regis, Dunstable, Toddington, Chalton and many local roads. Only heavy goods vehicles delivering to the local area will pass through these towns. The weight limit will help reduce congestion and improve air quality.

Once the weight limit is in effect, it will allow us to start improving Dunstable's high street as part of our wider regeneration project.

This short film, Dunstable; The Next Chaper, shows the improvements and regeneration plans in and around Dunstable.

The Woodside Link road will provide access to a new development area north of Houghton Regis, where 5,600 new homes are to be built and 30 hectares of employment land developed by 2031.

It is part of the Dunstable Town Centre Masterplan, which includes the Highways Agency’s A5-M1 Link (North Dunstable Bypass) and The Busway. It is 2.9km long (1.8 miles). Parkside Drive is scheduled to open on 5 May, 2017.

View BBC Three Counties Radio's video (link opens in new window) which shows how Woodside Link connects with the M1 junction 11a.

A5-M1 Link

The A5-M1 Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass) opened on 11 May 2017. It's a dual carriageway which connects the M1 at the new junction 11a north of Luton, to the A5 at Thorn Turn north of Dunstable.

It runs between the A5 (at Thorn Turn, just north of its existing junction with the A505) and the M1 at a new Junction 11A (to the south of the existing Toddington Motorway Services Area).

The A5-M1 Link increases accessibility between Milton Keynes and M1 Junction 9, making journey times shorter and more reliable for vehicles travelling a long distance.

It reduces congestion on the A5 and take traffic away from local roads in Dunstable and Houghton Regis.

It was being constructed by Highways England.

Cost and funding

The Secretary of State for Transport approved the Woodside Link by granting a Development Consent Order on 30 September 2014.

It is expected to have cost around £38.3m (link opens in new window).

We secured a £20 million funding contribution from SEMLEP’s Local Growth Deal (link opens in new window), as well as £5 million from government's Local Pinch Point Fund (link opens in new window), and £1 million in developer contributions (link opens in new window).

Traffic flow

The Woodside Link and A5-M1 link roads at the M1 junction 11a are an important part of the regeneration plans for Dunstable and Houghton Regis and will help to take heavy traffic away from the town centres.

We have designed three different diagrams to show how different scenarios affect the traffic flows in the area.

The first diagram shows the traffic flow prior to all the new link roads being open. As you can see, there are heavy levels of traffic on the A5 going through Dunstable town centre.

Traffic flow before Woodside Link

The second diagram shows how the link roads will improve the traffic flow in the area, with motorway and HGV traffic going away from the town.

Traffic flow after Woodside Link

The third diagram shows the diversion route if the M1 is completely closed and the traffic needs to be diverted.

Traffic flow if M1 junction 10 is closed