Parliament this week announced a new £15bn plan to triple the amount of work being done to improve the condition and capacity of Britain's roads.æ The government has said that it will invest in over 100 new road schemes during this parliament and next. More than 1,300 new lane miles will be added on motorways and trunk roads, with the aim of reducing congestion and fixing a number of long-standing 'problem areas'. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: 'Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve our road network and unlock Britain's economic potential. 'Roads are key to our nation's prosperity. For too long they have suffered from under-investment. 'This government has a long term plan to secure the country's future and this £15 billion roads programme is demonstration of that. 'Better roads allow us to travel freely, creating jobs and opportunities, benefiting hardworking families across the country.î Planned projects under the new scheme include:
- A commitment of £2 billion to dual the entire A303 and A358 to the south-west.æ This will include a tunnel at Stonehenge.
- £290 million to complete the conversion of the A1 into a dual carriageway between London and Ellingham.
- Completion of the smart motorway along the entire length of the M62 from Manchester to Leeds, and improvements to trans-Pennine capacity between Manchester and Sheffield.
- The improvement of links to the Port of Liverpool as part of a wider scheme to improve access to major international gateways.
- £350 million of improvements to the A27 along the south coast, with focus on reducing congestion in Arundel, Worthing and Lewes.
- Investing £300 million to upgrade the dual carriageway sections of the A47 and improve connections to both the A1 and the A11.
- Improving one third of the junctions on the M25.
- Improving the M42 to the east of Birmingham.
Spending on Britain's roads will also receive a boost in the form of maintenance funding worth more than £10bn. Chancellor George Osborne said: 'Our plans will transform some of the country's most important strategic routes, with ambitious projects to dual the A303, A1, A27 and the A47 as well as spending on important local infrastructure boosting productivity and helping local economies. 'For years our roads have been neglected. Now that this Government is fixing the economy, we can afford to invest properly in our roads _ unlocking jobs for the future and local growth by creating a road network that is fit for the 21st century.î