Transport secretary outlines roads investment plans

12.00 | 29 November 2016 | | 2 comments

The transport secretary Chris Grayling has given further details of the investment in roads infrastructure announced in the Autumn Statement on 23 November, which includes £175m to upgrade some of England’s most dangerous roads.

In a statement to Parliament, Chris Grayling said: “This new funding of £1.3bn over this Parliament will help support infrastructure projects on roads, with £1.1bn for the local road network and £220m to relieve congestion on the strategic road network.

“For the majority of the £1.1 billion there are three goals, and those seeking funding for improvements must fulfil at least one of those goals: to ease congestion and provide upgrades on important national, regional or local routes; to unlock economic and job creation opportunities; or to enable the delivery of vital new housing developments to meet the needs of a generation of would-be home owners.

“To ensure that work can start quickly to help continue improvements to the country’s roads, £70m of funding from the Pothole Action Fund will be allocated by formula to local highway authorities in 2017/18.

“I am also announcing funding for further development of business cases for six schemes from the large local major projects fund in addition to the six announced in the Autumn Statement, as well as approval to start construction of the Lincoln Eastern bypass.

"The 6 schemes included in the Autumn Statement were: Suffolk Energy Gateway new road; A1079/A164 Jocks Lodge Junction; Shrewsbury North West Relief Road; Tees Valley east-west connections; Sheffield Mass Transit Scheme; and Warrington Waterfront Western link.

“A further six schemes will receive funding to develop business cases: Sheffield City Region Innovation Corridor; Manchester Metrolink airport extension to Terminal 2; Melton Mowbray Eastern Distributor Road; New Tees Crossing; A500 Dualling (Cheshire); and South Coventry Link Road.

“This means that development and feasibility work can proceed to the next stage. It does not mean every scheme is certain to go ahead and it remains a competitive process. However, many of these will be among the next set of projects that we build in this country.

“Following the confirmation of the National Roads Fund, we are publishing reports on five strategic studies, into major improvements on our national road network.

“On the back of these, government is committing to taking forward major improvements at 3 points on the national network: upgrading the A66 to dual carriageway, creating the first new all-dual trans-Pennine link since 1971; improving the M60 around Manchester – the second busiest road in the country; and building a new Oxford-Cambridge expressway, to link up three of England’s fastest growing cities.

"Two further studies, into further upgrading of the A1 in the East of England and building a trans-Pennine tunnel, are also reporting.

“Further economic analysis is to follow, with particular reference to emerging housing plans, before taking decisions on next steps. A sixth study, on the M25 South West Quadrant, will report in 2017.

“In addition to bringing forward major projects, we have also announced a £220m package of smaller improvements, which will be quick to deliver and will tackle congestion in the here-and now. This includes improvements to the A69, further enhancing trans-Pennine connectivity.

“I am also announcing approval for the £95m Lincoln Eastern Bypass with a contribution from the DfT of £50m. Construction will start in the new year.

“In order to ensure that our road network is safer for all road users, £175m of the additional funding for local roads will be used to upgrade some of England’s most dangerous roads, where the risk of fatal and serious collisions is highest.

“The Road Safety Foundation’s analysis of the safety performance of the country’s major road network highlights where investment should be targeted. Therefore, my department will be inviting proposals from local authorities responsible for the 50 highest risk roads.

“This demonstrates that the government is serious about investing in the infrastructure the country needs to drive economic growth both locally and nationally and to ensure that all road users have a well maintained and safe network which is fit for the future."


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    It irks me when roads are referred to as ‘dangerous’ (para 15) – as if they have some malevolent quality, where innocent users are entirely at the mercy of some devilish design and construction.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    No mention of pedestrian/cyclists safety. Wording shows that policy is only concerned with car occupants.

    David van Rest
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