After five months of construction a new £5.3m road which is part of a wider plan to ease congestion in Aylesbury opened today.
With a deft snip of the scissors Val Letheren, the new chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council, declared Aylesbury’s new Stocklake (urban) link road ready for traffic.
It was her first official engagement and fitting in the light of the six years she spent leading the council’s transport portfolio.
The chairman became the first citizen to drive along some of the fresh tarmac, watched by a small group of councillors, business leaders and contractors.
At nearly a kilometre long, the £5.3 million ‘gateway to the east’ of Aylesbury, from Park Street, will connect with a new rural section in August, providing a link between the town and the new 2,450-home Kingsbrook housing estate being built by Barratt and David Wilson Homes.
The first section from Park Street roundabout opened to traffic at 6am on Bank Holiday Monday, following five months of construction, and the remainder will open to two-way traffic on June 13 once footway finishing work has been done.
Following the opening, contractors will concentrate on converting the old Stocklake into a service road providing easier access to homes and parking for residents, landscaping with semi-mature trees, and refurbishing Park Street roundabout.
Mark Shaw, cabinet member for transport, said: “The Stocklake scheme is an important part of a transport plan that will ease congestion in the east of Aylesbury, and provide a valuable gateway between the town and homes and businesses in this developing part of the county.
“It has been a superb collaborative project between the Local Enterprise Partnership, the designers, the contractors and the County Council and I’m really encouraged that we’ve been able to build it so speedily.”
The Stocklake (urban) link road is the first project in Buckinghamshire to be paid for through Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) £44m Local Growth Deal funding from the government.
LEP chief executive Richard Harrington said: “The development of local road infrastructure is essential for Aylesbury’s growth and the Stocklake Link Road scheme is a key element to smooth traffic flow in the town area and also to link into new road networks such as the Eastern Link road and provide easier access to the A41 and London.
“We are therefore delighted with the completion of the Stocklake Link Road which marks the first Local Growth Funds project to reach completion and will have a positive impact for local traffic flow but also improve the environment for the local community and enable economic growth to the east of Aylesbury.’
Eventually the Stocklake link will continue beyond Broughton Lane to the planned Eastern Link Road between the A41 Tring Road roundabout and the A418 Bierton Road, connecting with other planned housing and business areas.
Started in January this year, the new road has been built on the cleared trackbed of the former Aylesbury – Cheddington – Birmingham railway, the first rail connection to the town, which opened in 1839 and closed in 1964. This has enabled the road to be built further away from the fronts of houses, and they will be shielded by a screen of trees along a wide centre strip.
The map above shows built, agreed and ‘aspirational’ new roads around Aylesbury, some of which are dependent on new housing schemes getting the green light. If all the roads went ahead, it would be possible to drive from Oxford Road near Fairford Leys to Bierton without having to travel into Aylesbury.