£1.1 billion East of England road improvements to boost economy

Multi-million pound plans to improve journeys for drivers on some of the East of England’s busiest roads will be launched over the next three months, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced.

The eight schemes, designed to reduce congestion, improve safety and boost the economy, are part of the government’s record £15 billion investment in England’s motorways and major A roads. The work on the A12, A428 and A47 will be carried out by Highways England and is due to start by 2020.

They include:

• widening of the A12 between Chelmsford and the A120 junction in Essex
• improvements on the A428 between Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire and the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire
• six major improvement schemes, including junction and dualling, along the A47 route in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

"The government is making a record investment to improve our motorways and major ‘A’ roads across the country to get motorists to their destinations more quickly, easily and safely.

"These vital schemes in the East of England will not only help relieve congestion, they will also link people with jobs and businesses with customers, helping boost the region’s economy and improving lives."

Over the next few months public consultations will be held to give drivers, residents and businesses their chance to comment to ensure the best possible improvements are taken forward.

The schemes were announced in the government’s Road Investment Strategy in December 2014 and are worth up to £1.1 billion in total.

Today’s announcement follows the start of works on the £1.5 billion A14 upgrade between Cambridge and Huntingdon and the government’s announcement to develop the Oxford to Cambridge expressway with £27 million of funding.

As part of the Autumn Statement in November 2016 a separate £1.2 billion was also announced that is available to councils across England to improve roads, relieve congestion and provide important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future.

The first of consultation, due to start on Monday 23 January, will be about an upgrade on the A12 between Chelmsford and the A120 junction in Essex.

Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan said:

"These improvements are made possible by the Government’s £15 billion investment in our strategic roads. They are much needed by the half a million drivers who use them every day. Each scheme has been developed by working with local partners and through this consultation we are welcoming views on them. I encourage anyone with an interest in these roads – whether they drive on them, live near them or depend on them for trade – to get involved."

Public consultations on plans for the latest schemes will launch in the coming months and will be widely publicised.