A421

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Route of the A421

The A421 will carry the weary traveller from a point near Banbury to Milton Keynes, Bedford and St Neots, a country road through the villages and towns of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. At its eastern end, it suddenly becomes something much more important, and the part we're interested in here runs from the M1 at Ridgmont to the A1 at the Black Cat Roundabout.

The expressway between those points is relatively new, and as recently as 1995 Bedford was an important county town stranded between the M1 and A1 with no particularly good connection to either. Since 1996, three sections of new dual carriageway have been built, progressively completing a fast route that serves to link Cambridge to Milton Keynes and Bedford to the wider world.

As good as this new expressway is, it's let down by its two terminal junctions — both of which, in fact, feature in CBRD's Bad Junctions list. The Black Cat Roundabout is just a nasty flat roundabout that's been overloaded for years, but particular merit is awarded to M1 J13 Ridgmont Interchange which was modified in 2010 from a tiny diamond junction to the monstrous calamity that stands there today. A fast new road surely deserves better connections to the rest of the road network than these.

It's hard to escape the fact that much traffic on this road continues east of St Neots to reach Cambridge and the A14, and that at least half of that is also a high-quality, brand-new expressway. There's only nine miles, as the crow flies, between the end of this road at Black Cat and the start of the A428 expressway at Caxton Gibbet.

You're not looking at the whole A421

This page only deals with the parts of the A421 that are classed as motorway or that have motorway characteristics. Any other sections of this road won't be featured here and will not count towards the mileage shown below.

Factfile

Start St Neots (A1)
Finish Milton Keynes (M1)
Passes Bedford
Length 18 miles
Connects to None

There are no photos in this section yet.

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the A421 were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
Sep1996 Bedford Southern Bypass
Aug2006 Great Barford Bypass
Dec2010 M1 → Kempston

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Eastbound               Westbound
28.5 km The NORTH
Peterborough A1 Link
Cambridge (A428)
London
Stevenage A1 Link
Great Barford






A1
(A428)
EAST
Black Cat Roundabout (Roundabout)






A1
N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
4.5 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 4.5 miles, 2 lanes
21.5 km Bedford
A428
Great Barford


A428
(Dumbbell) Bedford
A428
Great Barford
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2.5 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 2.5 miles, 2 lanes
17.8 km Sandy
Bedford
A603



A603
(A600)
(Roundabout Interchange) A603



Bedford
Sandy
A603
Hitchin
Shefford
(A600)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.8 miles, 2 lanes Up  
16.1 km Hitchin
Shefford
Bedford
A600
A600 (Dumbbell) A600 More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes
1.8 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 2.6 miles, 2 lanes
13.3 km Luton A6
Bedford
Elstow
A5141
A5141 (Roundabout Interchange) A6 Bedford
Luton
A6
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
1.3 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 1.3 miles, 3 lanes
11.4 km Northampton
A428 (A6)
Bromham
Kempston
B531

A428
(A6)
(Roundabout Interchange) Northampton
A428 (A6)
Bromham
Kempston
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
3.4 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 3.4 miles, 2 lanes
5.9 km Cranfield
Marston Moretaine
(Dumbbell) Cranfield
Marston Moretaine
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
3.7 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 3.7 miles, 2 lanes
(M1 J13)
0.0 km
N/A M1











Ridgmont Interchange (Non-standard interchange)
A421
WEST
A507


M1














Ampthill
Ridgmont A507
London
M1 Link
Husborne Crawley
Milton Keynes
A421
The NORTH
M1 Link
Cranfield
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
LanesLanesLanesLanes