Motorists and hauliers will benefit from increased capacity on England's motorways by spring 2015 thanks to the acceleration of three upgrades, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced.
These will be delivered in this spending review period rather than the next, as the Government introduces major improvements to the way road schemes are planned and built.
This new way of working should in future see lanes added to motorways in up to half the time it normally takes.
The three schemes being accelerated are:
- M3 J2 to 4a, Surrey;
- M6 J10a to 13, West Midlands; and
- M1 J28 to 31, Derbyshire.
Improvements to A160/A180 route to the Port of Immingham will also start construction sooner than originally planned in the summer of 2015 and completed autumn 2016 - cutting 18 months off the original construction timetable.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I am determined to cut the time it takes to upgrade our roads in half by dismantling procedures that have slowed us down.
"Together these schemes will increase capacity for millions of road users by 72 miles. My ambition is that in future all major road schemes will be accelerated, tackling congestion more quickly and boosting the economy."
In a keynote speech to the CBI yesterday, the PM announced that "it's our ambition to cut the time it takes to upgrade our roads in half".
The Department for Transport and the Highways Agency has looked hard at how to speed up the decision making process and the time it takes to have roads ready for use by motorists.
It is estimated that 1km of managed motorway (using the hard shoulder as extra lanes and variable speed limits) can be built every two weeks, instead of every four.
It is expected more complex, traditional capacity improvements on non motorway routes, such as the A160/A180 Immingham improvements, will be delivered up to 25 per cent quicker / a quarter more quickly.
This commitment to faster delivery means this Government will bring forward £75m of investment forward into this spending review.