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Government confirms plans for £3.8bn of roads improvement in Midlands and East of England

The Government has released details of the £3.8bn of roads improvement and investment to take place in the Midlands and East of England.

The investment will see improvements and repairs along a series of motorways and A roads between now and 2021, which the Government says will give road users simpler, faster and more reliable journeys.

Some of the schemes such as the A5-M1 Link Dunstable Northern Bypass in Bedfordshire are already under way. This scheme involves the building of a new link between 2 major roads north of Dunstable, helping reduce congestion.

Planned changes in the Midlands include a major junction improvement at M42 junction 6 to accommodate redevelopment in the area, supporting access to growth at Birmingham Airport and the NEC, and preparing capacity for the new HS2 station and surrounding developments.

Additionally plans for smart motorway at the M42/M40 interchange will remove current congestion and provide further benefits for access and capacity in the area. Smart motorways see the hard shoulder converted into a permanent extra running lane and technology installed to give drivers more reliable journeys. Variable mandatory speed limits will be used to manage traffic speeds and help reduce congestion, whilst enabling safe operation of the motorway.

The development and design of a new link road connecting the M54, M6 and the M6 Toll will reduce congestion at peak times and improve safety on both the A460 and the A449/A5 between the M54 and the M6.

The M6 Junction 10 scheme will provide significant additional capacity at the junction, with part funding from the Black Country’s Local Growth Deal, including the replacement of both bridges allowing the widening of the roundabout to 4 lanes, and giving improved access to the Darlaston Enterprise Zone.

Across the West Midlands, Highways England will spend around £600m on maintenance, including £160m to resurface more than 900 miles of carriageway; £225m for repairing and renewing structures like bridges and viaducts; and £60m to improve vehicle barriers.

Further work in the East of England includes subject to statutory processes, will involve building a new A14 bypass to the south of Huntingdon and widening some of the existing carriageway near Cambridge, as well as the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury, as well as:

  • upgrading 6 sections of the A47/A12 corridor in Norfolk across a 115 mile section of the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth. This will include converting almost 8 miles of single carriageway to dual carriageway and making improvements to 3 junctions.
  • increasing capacity on the A1(M) providing an additional 14 lane miles to relieve congestion in Hertfordshire, including Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City
  • upgrading technology at junctions on the M11 across Essex and Cambridgeshire, from Stansted Airport to Cambridge
  • providing technology along the A12 in Essex and Suffolk from the M25 to Ipswich and widening the stretch between Chelmsford and the A120 to 3 lanes, adding 30 miles of additional lane capacity
  • providing a new 13 mile stretch of dual carriageway on the A428 between western Cambridgeshire and the north east of Bedfordshire

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