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Location Map ( geo)
Bedfordshire Flag.png
Cameraicon.png View gallery (13)
Primary Destinations
Bedford • Dunstable • Luton • Luton Airport
Other Important Destinations
Leighton Buzzard
Current Highway Authorities
Bedford • Central Bedfordshire • Luton
Buckinghamshire • Cambridgeshire • Hertfordshire • Huntingdonshire • Northamptonshire
National Highways Roads
M1 • A1 • A5 • A421 • A428

Bedfordshire is a traditional county in eastern England. The like-named county council was abolished in 2009 and so the county is now split into three Unitary Authorities: Bedford, Luton and Central Bedfordshire.

Geography & Economy

The A1081 at Luton Airport

The county is one of England's smallest and one of only a couple that are doubly landlocked. It stretches from the Chilterns to the drainage basin of the River Great Ouse and as such the northern half of the county is relatively flat. Luton and Bedford are the largest towns whilst the rest of the county is largely rural.

At one time Bedfordshire was known for its brickworks but is now perhaps better known for Toddington services, the HQ of Moto, and Luton Airport. Cardington, just to the south of Bedford, was at one time the country's leading airship works and airfield; the huge hangars used for the R100 and R101 still exist. Tourist attractions in the county include Whipsnade Zoo, Woburn Abbey and the Shuttleworth Collection of historic aircraft, which includes the world's oldest aeroplane still airworthy.


Tempsford Bridge carries the northbound A1 over the River Great Ouse

Bedfordshire contains a good network of Class I roads but only had a handful of rural Class II roads for much of the last few decades as many of the Class II roads were elevated to Class I roads as they linked to M1 junctions and became more important. With the exception of the A418, which was downgraded to Class II and III in the 1990s, the excess Class I roads were not downgraded until the 2010s: after the administrative structure changed.

Owing to the county's proximity to London many drivers heading north have to pass through Bedfordshire and so may well be travelling to, rather than through. The majority of roads either radiate from London or the county town of Bedford; the A507, which crosses the county east-west, is the main exception.

Non-trunk roads within the county are maintained by the three districts: Bedford covers the northern third and Central Bedfordshire most of the rest, with Luton only covering that town. National Highways maintains the three major north-south routes of A5, M1 and A1, together with the A421/A428, which links the latter two before continuing east to the A14 in Cambridgeshire. Bedfordshire's A1 was one of the earlier sections to be upgraded and so is of poor quality; the road here has a number of urban sections and as many as four at-grade roundabouts, including the inadequate Black Cat Roundabout with the A421; plans are in place to upgrade this junction but it will take a few years. Non-trunk dual-carriageways are few, although one example is the A1081 leading from the M1 to Luton Airport; the westernmost section of this road was a motorway spur until it was downgraded in 2015.

Route From To Length
M1 Staples Corner, Middlesex Hook Moor, Yorkshire 192 miles View
M100 South Mimms Pelaw 256 miles View   
A1 London Edinburgh 396 miles View
A5 London Holyhead 252 miles View
A6 Luton Carlisle 299 miles View
A418 Wheatley Linslade 25.3 miles View
A421 Barleymow Roundabout, Brackley Black Cat Roundabout, Roxton 44.4 miles View
A422 Spetchley, Worcester Bromham 84.5 miles View
A428 Coventry Cambridge 79.3 miles View
A505 Leighton Buzzard Great Abington 49.2 miles View
A506 Hockliffe Northampton 27 miles View
A507 Brogborough Buntingford 31.4 miles View
A600 Hitchin Bedford 18.2 miles View
A603 Bedford Cambridge 29.9 miles View
A1020 Eaton Socon St Neots 0.6 miles View
A1081 High Barnet Luton Airport 20.5 miles View
A4012 Leighton Buzzard Hockliffe 4.8 miles View
A4146 Hemel Hempstead Milton Keynes 16.7 miles View
A4160 Aston Clinton Dunstable 11.3 miles View
A4280 Bedford Renhold 4.0 miles View
A5065 Leagrave Luton 2.8 miles View
A5120 Toddington Interchange Ampthill bypass 4.5 miles View
A5130 Woburn Kingston, Milton Keynes 4.0 miles View
A5134 Elstow Cardington 1.9 miles View
A5140 Bedford Goldington 1.7 miles View
A5141 Progress Park Bedford Modern School 2.9 miles View
A5142 High Street South Church Street 0.4 miles View
A5160 Dunstable Bourne Bridge 39 miles View
A5183 Elstree Dunstable 21.8 miles View
A5228 Dunstable Road Vauxhall Way 3.1 miles View
A5229 Bury Park High Town 0.3 miles View
A5505 M1 J11A Dunstable Town Centre View
A6001 Holme Green Biggleswade 2.3 miles View
A6002 Bedford Chawston 8.4 miles View
A6129 Hatfield (N) Welwyn Garden City 1.5 miles View
A6172 Tavistock Street Goldington Road 1.8 miles View  
B440 Hemel Hempstead Leighton Buzzard 12.4 miles View
B486 Boxmoor Leighton Buzzard 15.6 miles View
B488 Tring Linslade 9.9 miles View
B489 Buckland Dunstable 10.6 miles View
B528 Hockliffe Woburn 4.6 miles View
B530 Fancott Kempston 14.0 miles View
B531 Bedford Marsh Leys 2.5 miles View
B556 Dunstable Ampthill 10.9 miles View
B557 Fenny Stratford Bedford 15.9 miles View
B558 Station Road Apsley Hill 0.5 miles View
B559 Church End Husborne Crawley 0.5 miles View
B560 Kempston Stagsden 3.1 miles View
B561 Kempston Bromham 3.3 miles View
B562 Cardington Road, Bedford Eastcotts 0.4 miles View
B563 Cauldwell Street Clapham Road 1.2 miles View
B564 Prebend Street High Street 0.4 miles View
B579 Luton Toddington 6.3 miles View
B645 Rushden Eaton Ford 17.7 miles View
B653 Luton Stanborough 10.7 miles View
B654 New Bedford Road Church Street 0.5 miles View
B655 Barton-le-Clay Hitchin 7.5 miles View
B658 Chicksands Biggleswade By Pass 5.9 miles View
B659 Henlow Camp Biggleswade 6.3 miles View
B659 Fenlake Eastcotts 0.4 miles View
B660 Bedford Ramsey St Mary's 34.7 miles View
B1040 Biggleswade Crowland 50.5 miles View
B1041 High Street Drove Road 0.3 miles View
B1042 Sandy Wimpole Lodge 11.5 miles View
B1048 Crosshall Eaton Ford 0.9 miles View
B1428 Eaton Socon St Neots By Pass 3.7 miles View
B4506 Northchurch Whipsnade 7.3 miles View
B4540 Whipsnade (W) Luton 7.8 miles View
B4541 Whipsnade Dunstable 2.2 miles View
B5120 Dunstable Toddington 5.1 miles View
B5379 Market Place St Loves Street 0.4 miles View
B5704 Hockliffe Ridgmont station 7.5 miles View
B5790 Chalton Houghton Regis 0.6 miles View
B6425 Wardown Park, Luton Round Green 1.0 mile View    
C204 Toddington Fancott 0.9 miles View
T1 London Scrabster View
T11 London Holyhead View
T12 London Inverness View
T45 Ipswich Weedon View


Primary Route
Non Primary Route
Former Motorway
Defunct Route
E Road
Future Motorway
Future Primary
Future Non Primary
Historical Route
Tourist Route
Roman Road
Unbuilt Motorway
Unbuilt Primary
Unbuilt Non Primary
National Cycle Network
Cycle Route
Eurovelo Cycle Route


Main Article: Bedfordshire Turnpikes


Main Article: Junctions in Bedfordshire

Bridges, Tunnels, and other Crossings

Main Article: Crossings in Bedfordshire

NCN51 • A1 • A5 • A6 • A418 • A421 • A422 • A428 • A505 • A506 (Hockliffe - Northampton) • A507 • A600 • A601 (Luton - Bourn Bridge) • A603 • A1020 (St Neots) • A1081 • A4012 • A4146 • A4160 (Aston Clinton - Dunstable) • A4280 • A5065 • A5120 • A5130 • A5134 • A5140 • A5141 • A5142 • A5160 • A5183 • A5228 • A5229 • A5505 • A6001 • A6002 (Bedfordshire) • A6129 • A6172 (Bedford) • B440 • B486 (Boxmoor - Leighton Buzzard) • B488 • B489 • B528 • B530 • B531 • B556 (Dunstable - Ampthill) • B557 • B558 • B559 • B560 • B561 • B562 • B563 • B564 • B579 • B645 • B653 • B654 • B655 • B658 • B659 • B659 (Bedford) • B660 • B1040 • B1041 (Biggleswade) • B1042 • B1048 • B1428 • B4506 • B4540 • B4541 • B5120 (Dunstable) • B5379 • B5704 • B5790 • B6425 (Luton) • Bedfordshire Scenic Route • C204 (Central Bedfordshire) • E13 • E28 (Birmingham - Ipswich) • E31 (via Carlisle) • E31 (via Newcastle) • E33 (London - Glasgow) • E112 (Old System) • Great North Road • Holyhead Road • Icknield Way • London Oxford Airport Motorway • M1 • M100 • T1 (Britain) • T11 (Britain) • T12 (Britain) • T45 (Britain) • Watling Street
Related Pictures
View gallery (13)
Bridge over the Great Ouse - Geograph - 1866252.jpgTown Bridge - Geograph - 1866873.jpgBedford Road Junction, B530 - Geograph - 382264.jpgBedfordshire Flag.pngA 4012 towards Woburn (C) Michael Trolove - Geograph - 2775492.jpg
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