Buckinghamshire Council has announced the imminent commencement of the second phase of a significant £35 million link road project, the South East Aylesbury Link Road (SEALR).
Despite not having secured full funding, the council is moving forward with this ambitious infrastructure endeavour. The SEALR, spanning 1.1 miles of dual carriageway, will include the construction of three new roundabouts and will connect the A413 Wendover Road to the Stoke Mandeville Relief Road, currently under construction by HS2.
This strategic highway initiative aims to facilitate smoother traffic flow, diverting it away from Aylesbury town centre. The council is adopting a phased approach, correlating the progression of works with the availability of funding. The first phase, already underway since December, involves the creation of roundabouts linking the A413 Wendover Road and the B4443 Lower Road. The upcoming second phase, set to start in March, will extend the B4443 Lower Road to a new roundabout that connects with both the Stoke Mandeville Relief Road and the proposed South West Aylesbury Link Road.
Council leader Martin Tett highlighted the importance of this project, stating that it is vital for supporting housing development in Aylesbury and managing future traffic increases. Funding for the two phases of the project comes from a variety of sources, including HS2 Ltd, the Local Growth Fund through the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Department for Transport, Homes England, and Section 106 contributions.
Despite delays in securing complete funding, Buckinghamshire Council remains in active discussions with the central government for the full financing of the project. A council spokesperson indicated that they are awaiting a final cost estimate for the completion of Phase 1, which will facilitate an updated business case submission to the Department for Transport.
In related news, Buckinghamshire Council reported a substantial increase in parking fine revenue, amounting to £1.4 million last year, a 50% rise from 2022. Cabinet member for transport, Steven Broadbent, assured that any surplus from these fines is earmarked for transport and environmental projects.