Government publishes £6.1 billion programme of upgrades to major roads and motorways
£6.1 billion programme of road improvements announced as part of the government's £23 billion upgrade to the road network in England.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman has unveiled a £6.1 billion programme of road improvements as part of the government’s £23 billion upgrade to the road network in England.
Road users will benefit from shorter journey times, reduced congestion and increased capacity on roads, creating better local connections and improved passenger journeys as a result of these projects.
This includes the route for the new A19 Downhill Lane junction which has been published today (30 June 2017). The new junction will support the new international manufacturing park by significantly increasing road capacity, easing traffic and improving safety — as well as boosting the local economy.
Over the coming 6 months, the government will take the next steps on 55 road improvements across the country, including opening 8 schemes, consulting on 10 schemes and publishing final plans for another 29 schemes.
Transport Minister Jesse Norman said:
"Road users across England should soon be seeing the benefits of these improvements in their daily lives, which are designed to link people better with their jobs, friends, family and local amenities, as well as connecting businesses with customers.
"Over the next 6 months we expect to roll out our vital upgrade plan — taking next steps on £6.1 billion-worth of schemes and seeking to hear from local people, organisations and businesses to help shape our plans and ensure they benefit local communities.
"And shortly I also plan to announce the winners of the 2017 to 2018 highways maintenance challenge fund, where the government will be investing £75 million to improve smaller local roads including through resurfacing, filling potholes and other infrastructure projects."
Upgrades include adding capacity to sections of the A1 in Northumberland. This shortens journey times, supports economic growth and improves access to and from the county.
Road users will also see proposals to increase capacity at the A12 Colchester Bypass to reduce delays and will also see a new strategic corridor to the south-west via the A303, which will improve journey times to enhance the world heritage site.
Other improvements include a more efficient Junction 19 on the M6 and an upgrade to the link between the Port of Liverpool and the motorway network.
The announcements are important next steps to progress the schemes announced in the 2014 road investment strategy, which outlines how £15.2 billion will be invested in our strategic roads between 2015 and 2021.
The schemes will be delivered by Highways England, which is responsible for the country’s motorways and main trunk roads.
Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive, said:
"Highways England is committed to delivering the government’s investment programme to improve the strategic road network. These milestones are critical elements of our current work and we are extremely pleased that we are on track to deliver them."
Edmund King, AA president, said:
"Drivers will welcome this much needed investment on some of the nation’s most important routes.
"As well as increasing capacity and smoothing traffic flow, we believe that significant road safety benefits can be to be achieved especially with the A1 improvements.
"Following full consultations we hope that the proposed upgrades can be made quickly so drivers can reap the benefits."
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
"The first five-year road investment strategy reassured millions of drivers and businesses that their long-term travel needs were at last being taken seriously and provided for. But the fear has always been that road programmes, like the morning mists, have a tendency to fade away before our eyes.
"This latest unveiling is therefore a particularly welcome demonstration that the promised money is not only available but is being spent on schemes that really matter, and that our calls to remember the local roads — where our journeys begin and end — are being heard."