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Transport secretary announces £170m road improvement boost


Britain’s roads are to receive a £170m funding boost, the transport secretary announced at the Conservative Party conference yesterday (8 October).

The Highways Agency will deliver 57 road improvements by March 2015, part of a £217m programme to reduce congestion on Britain’s motorways and A-roads.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “These £217m road improvements prove the government’s determination to accelerate growth and cut congestion.

“Keeping traffic moving is vital to securing prosperity. By removing bottlenecks and improving access to local enterprise zones, key international trading ports and communities, these road schemes will help get people to and from work, and power the economy.”

The larger plans include an £11m scheme to widen junction 4 of the M5 near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and a £4.9m scheme to widen approach roads and slip roads and create a left turn lane on junction 5 of the M27 near Eastleigh. McLoughlin also revealed a £7.7m scheme to widen the A14 in Cambridgeshire between junctions 31 and 32 and install three sign gantries across the carriageway.

The transport secretary revealed plans for 10 improvements in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, seven in the South West, eight in the South East, six in the North West, 20 in the Midlands and six in the East.

The M1 is to receive significant improvements on junctions 33, 40, 41 and 44. The M5 will also receive a number of improvements to its slip roads in Exeter, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

These schemes form part of the government’s growth initiative, in which the Chancellor pledged £170m of extra transport funding in the Autumn Statement last year. The schemes announced last year include the Kingskerwell bypass in Devon and the Lincoln Eastern bypass. The Lincoln Eastern bypass received £50m of government funding and work is expected to begin in December, while construction for the Kingskerwell bypass has begun and is set to be completed in December 2015.

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