The government has confirmed today that an extra £6 billion has been made available to improve capacity on the country’s busiest motorways and major roads.
The money is in addition to the £3 billion announced last year and is part of the government’s policy to boost the economy’s recovery by forging ahead with public infrastructural investment.
Transport secretary Geoff Hoon revealed details of where the £6 billion will be spent, saying the money will be used to provide an extra 520 lane miles of road by widening and opening up of motorway hard shoulders.
"Increasing demand means that in many places our transport infrastructure is operating at, or very near, capacity,” Mr Hoon said.
"We are committing up to £6bn to improve the national road network - including extending hard shoulder running to some of the busiest parts of M1, M25, M6, M62, M3 and M4 - providing much-needed relief from congestion."
A new document - Britain's Transport Infrastructure: Motorways and Major Trunk Roads - details the locations where capacity will be added to the motorway and major trunk road network, including through hard-shoulder running.
The document also explains the way in which the Department for Transport will apply the 'managed motorways' concept across the network, and which schemes will be taken forward.
The minister also confirmed that an extra £250 million will be used to get more ultra low-carbon vehicles on Britain's roads by “stimulating” consumer uptake.
“The £250 million has been committed for consumer incentives and infrastructure development, supplementing an existing £100 million programme for research, development and demonstration, to help the government aim of bringing ultra low carbon vehicles to mass market more quickly,” explained a Department for Transport spokesman.
The funds will help stimulate consumer uptake of ultra-low emission cars and support provision of infrastructure that may be required.
Further details will be made available later this year.
Other initiatives include Heathrow expansion and the creation of a new company - High Speed 2 - for new high speed rail services.
Further details of the government’s road plans can be found at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/network/policy/motorways/
This £6 billion will permit completion of the following schemes which are already in construction:
- M1 J25-28 widening near Nottingham
- A5117/A550 Deeside Park Junctions improvement
- A1 between Bramham and Wetherby
- M40 J15 (Longbridge Roundabout)
- HSR on the motorway box (M40, M42 and J4-5 of the M6) around Birmingham
The DfT plans to make a start on the following schemes in this and the next financial year:
- HSR on the M6 J8-10a north of Birmingham
- Traffic management technology improvements on the A14 between Felixstowe and the M1.
- Upgrading the A1 to motorway standard between Dishforth and Barton
- Widening the M25 between junctions 16 and 23 in the north west and junctions 27 and 30 in the north east, subject to achieving financial closure
- HSR on the M1 J10-13 between Luton and Milton Keynes
- HSR on the M4 J19-20 and M5 J15-17 around Bristol
The DfT aso plans to start most of the following schemes in the following two years:
- Widening the A14 between Ellington and Fen Ditton (already planned to start in 2010/11);
- Adding a lane to the eastbound M60 around Manchester between J12-15;
- Trialling a new system on part of the M25 to integrate the management of traffic on the motorway network with the management of the local road network
- Improving the key M1 Junction 19 interchange with the M6 and A14
- M20 junction 10a at Ashford
- Widening the A14 around Kettering
- HSR on the M6 J5-8 around Birmingham
- HSR on the M1 J32-35a east of Sheffield
- HSR on the M62 J18 to 20 (Manchester)
- HSR on the M62 J25-30 from Bradford to Leeds
- HSR on the M60 J8-12 around Manchester
In addition the £6 billion investment programme will allow the following schemes to begin construction by 2015:
- M25 J30 improvements in Essex
- HSR on the M1 J28-31 south of Sheffield
- HSR on the M1 J39-42 (Wakefield)
- HSR on the M3 J2-4a west of London
- HSR on the M6 J10a-13 north of Birmingham
- HSR on the M25 Junctions 5-7 in the south and 23-27 in the north
- HSR on the M4 J3-12 west of London