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30.06.17

DfT reveals £6.1bn programme to improve major roads

A major £6.1bn programme of road improvements has been announced today by the government as part of a wider £23bn upgrade to the country’s road network. 

The programme will offer motorists shorter journey times, as well as reduced congestion and increased capacity, something that is hoped to improve passenger journeys and create better local connections.

It follows the government allocating £1.2bn to road funding in January, a figure which at the time councils said was still not enough to bring England’s tarmac up to scratch.

Over six months, 55 road improvement schemes will be acted on by the government, including opening eight schemes, consulting on 10 and publishing the final plans for a further 29.

Some of the projects that will feature in the programme include adding capacity to sections of the A1 in Northumberland, as well as at the Colchester bypass. Other improvements also include a more efficient Junction 19 on the M6, and an upgrade to the link between Port of Liverpool and the motorway.

“Road users across England should soon be seeing the benefits of these improvements in their daily lives, which are designed to link people better with their jobs, friends, family and local amenities, as well as connecting businesses with customers,” said transport minister Jesse Norman.

Norman added that over the next six months, DfT expected to roll out the vital upgrade plan — taking next steps on £6.1bn-worth of schemes and seeking the views of local people, organisations and businesses to help shape future plans and ensure they benefit local communities.

“Shortly, I also plan to announce the winners of the 2017 to 2018 highways maintenance challenge fund, where the government will be investing £75m to improve smaller local roads including through resurfacing, filling potholes and other infrastructure projects,” said Norman.

And Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, added: “Highways England is committed to delivering the government’s investment programme to improve the strategic road network. These milestones are critical elements of our current work and we are extremely pleased that we are on track to deliver them.”

The fund comes after a number of warnings about the state of the UK’s roads. In March, the ALARM survey found that around a sixth of local roads would need replacing within five years due to their poor state. And before that, the National Audit Office (NAO) warned that “decisive action” was needed to keep at-risk road investment projects afloat.

To view the full list of schemes, click here

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Comments

Lorna Dupre   03/07/2017 at 12:14

Note: the 'full list' on the web includes only the eight schemes to be opened and the ten for consultation.

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