Milton Keynes

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Milton Keynes is a large town, located in its own unitary authority to the northeast of Buckinghamshire in the United Kingdom. Whilst being officially a town it acts as a city and is labeled as such on local signposts. It is located approximately 50 miles from London.

History

Milton Keynes (pronounced 'Keens') was the largest of the final batch of British new towns. Construction began on it in 1967. The designated area included the older towns of Bletchley, Wolverton and Stony Stratford as well as a number of smaller villages, the most notable of which were New Bradwell and Fenny Stratford. The famous Milton Keynes shopping centre, at the time of opening the largest one in Europe, was opened by HM the Queen in 1977. The Point, a pyramid-shaped leisure complex, opened in 1981. Milton Keynes Central railway station opened in 1982 and the Xscape leisure facility and cinema opened in the year 2000, following the nearby theatre which opened the year before. The town is now nearing completion of the original masterplan and efforts are underway to expand the city beyond its original boundaries.

Transport

Milton Keynes has a unique road system of national speed limit (60 or 70mph) roads, laid out in the form of a grid. Each grid square contains its own community and there are roundabouts at each intersection between grid roads. In addition, a bypass of the A5 opened in 1981. This stretch of road is not part of the grid system but is rather a fully grade-separated highway, acting as an urban motorway. Originally there were also plans for an east-west route of similar structure and importance, but this second road did not go ahead. Additionally the M1 motorway touches the eastern side of the city.

The West Coast Main Line railway runs through Milton Keynes, with three stations serving the city at Wolverton, Milton Keynes Central and Bletchley. Additionally there are a further two stations within the city on the branch line to Bedford. This line connects to the Midland Main Line and thereby to Leicester and the East Midlands. There are proposals for a sixth station at Newton Leys, near to the existing village of Newton Longville, although this is dependent on the reopening of the lines to Oxford and Aylesbury. The West Coast Main Line connects Milton Keynes to the nearby towns of Northampton, Rugby, Leighton Buzzard and Hemel Hempstead, as well as the more distant London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.