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£15bn road upgrade plan updated to minimise congestion

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Highways England has updated its £15 billion road improvement programme to reduce the impact of roadworks on motorists and minimise congestion while improvements take place.

Plans for 26 road upgrades have been revised to reduce roadworks taking place in the same area of the network or on popular journey routes at the same time. This will mean less congestion for motorists as Highways England embarks on the biggest road upgrade plan for a generation. 

The Supplementary Delivery Plan published yesterday will see Highways England rescheduling its programme for the schemes between three and 24 months – meaning a number of schemes will be completed earlier than planned. All are still set for delivery as part of the Government’s first road investment strategy.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: “Our update today is a sensible and responsible way to deliver major national investment in road infrastructure. It will keep our roads moving, deliver a lasting legacy for the country and ensure best value for money for the taxpayer.”

Now, more than two years into delivery of a £15bn Government investment in motorways and major A roads, Highways England has already completed 18 major schemes, adding more than 190 lane miles of much-needed capacity to the nation’s roads.

The 10 schemes being brought forward are:

•         A19 Testos
•         A19 Downhill Lane
•         M56 junctions 6-8 smart motorway
•         M6 junctions 21a – 26 smart motorway
•         M6 junction 22 upgrade
•         A500 Etruria
•         M6 junction 10
•         M4 Heathrow Slips
•         A47 Acle Straight -small scale improvement
•         A47 and A12 junction enhancement

The 16 schemes being re-scheduled to smooth the timing and frequency of roadworks are:

•         A5 Dodwells to Longshoot widening
•         M3 junction 9 improvement
•         A31 Ringwood
•         M27 junctions 4-11
•         A47 North Tuddenham to Easton
•         A47 Blofield to North Burlingham dualling
•         M25 junction 25 improvement
•         M25 junction 28 improvement
•         A1 Birtley to Coal House
•         M60 junctions 24-27 and junction 1-4 smart motorway
•         A47/A11 Thickthorn
•         A47 Wansford to Sutton
•         A47 Guyhirn Junction
•         A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening
•         M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange
•         M25 junctions 10-16
Highways England is obliged to ensure that investment in the road network delivers good value for money.

Following a full review the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) programme some schemes require further development to achieve an acceptable return on investment.

As a result, in addition to the 26 schemes above, six schemes have been paused for further review and consideration as part of future RIS planning process.
•         A1 & A19 Technology enhancements
•         M11 junctions 8 to 14 technology upgrade
•         A12 whole-route technology upgrade
•         M53 junctions 5-11 smart motorway
•         A14 Junction 10a
•         M62/ M606 Chain Bar
Two further schemes required rework to achieve value for money; however, changes in local development plans mean that these schemes can be progressed, albeit in the early stages of Road Period 2.

•                  M5 Bridgwater junction improvements
•                  A50 Uttoxeter Project B growth corridor project


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