A widespread congestion-busting road improvement programme worth hundreds of millions of pounds has now tackled 39 bottlenecks – with more than another 80 to be completed in the next seven months, says the Highways Agency.
The £317 million ‘pinch point’ programme will cut congestion, increase safety and improve journey times - and help support the creation of 300,000 new jobs and 144,000 homes.
The improvement plans – part of the biggest programme of road enhancements since the 1970s – were drawn up by the Highways Agency working with local councils and communities.
The 121 schemes are distributed across England’s major road network and include the A30 Loggans Moor roundabout and approach roads in Hayle, Cornwall, and the A1/A47 junction at Wansford, Cambridgeshire.
Roads Minister John Hayes said: “We are investing record amounts in motorways and major roads – and every one of these pinch point schemes will deliver benefits to thousands of drivers.
“Some of the benefits are immediate – such as improved road markings to help traffic flow better through a junction – and in other cases the roads are being improved now so they can accommodate local development in the future.”
Highways Agency divisional director Matt Sweeting said: “The pinch point programme, the bulk of which will be completed over the next seven months, provides smaller scale improvements that can deliver big returns by easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for road users, including hauliers and commuters; all of this will help boost local economies and drive economic growth.”
The pinch point programme was launched in November 2011. Important schemes include:
• Adding signs and improving road markings to help reduce congestion at the A1/A47 junction at Wansford, Cambridgeshire. This scheme will support both the Great Haddon development, creating approximately 6,200 jobs and 4,000 new homes, and the Stanground South development, creating approximately 620 jobs and 1,525 new houses.
• An upgrade of the A34/M3 junction 9 at Easton Lane, Winchester, Hampshire to reduce congestion and improve safety. This scheme should support the generation of 539 jobs at the Silver Hill, Winchester siteand 58 jobs in Weeke, by 2020, , and the development of 1,000 homes using the land at Barton Farm, Winchester.
• Improvements to junction 2 of the M5 at Oldbury, West Midlands. This scheme will help towards the Black Country Core Strategy, a local development plan which includes the provision of approximately 785 jobs and 6,700 new houses.
• The widening of part of the A30 Loggans Moor roundabout and approach roads in Hayle, Cornwall. This will help to enable expansion at North, South and East Quat developments facilitating the creation of 1,985 jobs and 2,077 houses within the local vicinity.
• Improvements on the A1033 Northern Gateway roundabout in Hull, to improve access to the King George Dock and Ferry Terminal at the Port of Hull. This scheme supports the Green Port Hull enterprise zone and the Humber Estuary Renewable Energy Super Cluster and improves access to sites which have a potential to create 4,200 jobs and 1,000 homes.
A full list of pinchpoint schemes and progress on them is here.