Bletchley started out as a small village, secondary to its then-larger neighbour Fenny Stratford. However, in the 19th century the railway arrived from London and set up a base there whilst it was extending towards Birmingham. This resulted in substantial growth, which was further increased when the town became a junction for lines to Oxford and Bedford. Bletchley then became the subject of London overspill expansion in the 1950s. However this was soon dwarfed when the town was included in the designated area for the new city of Milton Keynes.
Initially Bletchley acted as the functional centre of the new town, but when Central Milton Keynes was opened in 1977 the old town began to decline. Efforts are now underway to boost Bletchley as a local and regional centre, to relieve the now over-crowded Milton Keynes centre.
Bletchley is tied into the Milton Keynes grid road system, giving it fast and direct road links to the rest of the city, as well to the A421 road from Bicester to Cambridge, the A5 and the M1 Motorway. It has a large station on the West Coast Main Line, but intercity trains no longer stop there, instead stopping at Milton Keynes Central railway station further north. There is also an hourly service to Bedford Monday-Saturday. Bletchley is situated within half hour's driving distance of London Luton Airport.