Towns and cities across the country are set to benefit from £3 billion worth of investment on improving roads, the Government has announced.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling visited Cambridgeshire yesterday (November 28) to witness the start of the £1.5bn A14 upgrade. The new 21-mile road between Huntingdon and Cambridge aims to cut congestion, and improve journey times for tens of thousands of motorists who use the road every day.
Grayling also outlined details of more than £1.3bn of road improvements announced as part of the autumn statement. This includes:
- £925m to tackle congestion and provide upgrades on local roads
- £175m to improve the 50 most dangerous roads in the country
- £220m to Highways England to combat congestion
- £27m for the Cambridge to Oxford expressway
- Six local major schemes to better journeys
In addition, the Transport Secretary announced:
- £50m to build the Lincoln Eastern Bypass
- Development of six further local major schemes
- £70m for 2017 to 2018 to fix potholes
He said: “The schemes announced today are focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future - removing the barriers to help make an economy that works for everyone.”
The A14 is the 33rd major scheme that the Government has started since 2010. During that time more than £4bn of schemes have been completed and are already providing drivers with better journeys.
Grayling added: “The A14 is a vital road for Cambridgeshire and for the rest of the country, helping link people and businesses to jobs, opportunities and families. This new upgrade will see quicker journeys, which will also be more reliable and safe.”
As part of the £1.3bn fund, the Government is providing £925m which highways authorities can bid for to upgrade and repair their roads. This is on top of the £6bn councils are receiving up to 2021. A further £70m from the Pothole Fund will be allocated next year.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will also work with councils to improve the 50 roads with the worst safety record, which includes the A588 in Lancashire, the A529 in Shropshire and the A18 in Lincolnshire. This is on top of the £1m pledged this month to improve the A285 in West Sussex.
It also published five strategic studies into the most complex issues on our road network:
- The A66 will be upgraded to create a new east to west dual carriageway, meaning a quicker link between Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire and Penrith, Cumbria.
- The department is enhancing junctions on the A69 to create 18 miles of dual carriageway between Newcastle and Hexham, to be complete by 2020. The A69 is a major part of Highways England’s £220m to combat congestion at pinch points on motorways and major A roads.
- Improvements to the north-west quadrant of the M60, between junctions 8 to 18 - the A6144 to Liverpool and M66 to Accrington - will continue to be developed.
- During the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor also announced £27m to develop the Cambridge to Oxford expressway, which includes a new road between the M1 and the M40.
- The Government will continue to examine the case for the A1 in the East of England and improving connectivity between Manchester and Sheffield
In addition to the six major schemes in the autumn statement, Grayling revealed a further six schemes which will have financial backing from the DfT to develop a business case. These are:
- A new Tees crossing
- Dualling the A500 in Cheshire
- Coventry South Link Road
- Melton Mowbray Eastern Distributor road
- Sheffield Innovation Corridor
- Manchester Metrolink Airport link
The six other local major schemes announced last Wednesday were:
- Tees Valley east-west connections
- East Riding: Jock’s Lodge Junction (A1079/A164)
- Sheffield Supertram renewals
- Shrewsbury North West Relief Road
- Warrington Waterfront Western Link
- Suffolk Energy Gateway New Road
The Transport Secretary also confirmed £50m to build the Lincoln Eastern Bypass. The £96.4m scheme will now start in January and be completed by December 2019.
In the coming months, the Government will announce more local major transport schemes that are expected to be funded from the £1.8bn Local Growth Fund allocations announced by the Chancellor in the autumn statement.
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