First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Roads Minister Mike Penning yesterday gave the green light for development work to be carried out on six new major UK road schemes.
The development work, which will take place over the next three years, aims to prime the road schemes for completion in the early years of the next spending review period (post 2015).
The six proposed road schemes, which aim to boost economic growth as part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan, are:
- M4 Junctions 3-12 managed motorway scheme; Thames Valley
- M25 Junction 30 / A13 congestion relief scheme, Thurrock;
- A19/A1058 Coast Road Junction improvement; North Tyneside
- A21 Tonbridge – Pembury widening; Kent
- A63 Castle Street improvements, Hull; and
- A160/A180 improvements, Immingham
Announcing the approval of development work for the new road schemes, Penning said: “We are committed to tackling congestion, keeping traffic moving and supporting the UK economy, putting in money where it is most needed, and where the public will get a good return on investment.
“We have already announced around £3bn of investment to complete work on Highways Agency
major road projects under construction, and to allow work to start before March 2015 on 20 much-needed road improvement schemes.
The latest approved development work will focus on designing and consulting on proposals, along with progressing necessary statutory processes.
Tuesday’s announcement also marked the conclusion of a review process for four other road schemes – including the M4 J3-12 managed motorway scheme – from the 2010 Spending Review.
The M3 Junctions 2-4a managed motorway scheme has already been added to the roads programme with a start of work date of 2013/14.
The two remaining proposals, the M20 Junction 10a and M54 to M6/M6 Toll link road, will continue to be considered for future delivery along with other schemes.
“We are pleased to see the Government starting to allocate much-needed extra investment in the road network,” said Richard Hayes, senior vice president of the Institute of Highways Engineers
(IHE). “The additional works to be undertaken will significantly relieve congestion at these specific sites, though once again this is aimed at the section of our road network, the Strategic Road Network, where a good level of investment already exists and which still leaves the local network struggling following years of under investment whilst dealing with the impact of weather on a deteriorating network.
“We would like to see the Minister invest more in maintaining the existing highway network.”