News story

Government publishes £6.1 billion programme of upgrades to major roads and motorways

£6.1 billion programme of road improvements announced as part of the government's £23 billion upgrade to the road network in England.

Image of dual carriageway.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman has unveiled a £6.1 billion programme of road improvements as part of the government’s £23 billion upgrade to the road network in England.

Road users will benefit from shorter journey times, reduced congestion and increased capacity on roads, creating better local connections and improved passenger journeys as a result of these projects.

This includes the route for the new A19 Downhill Lane junction which has been published today (30 June 2017). The new junction will support the new international manufacturing park by significantly increasing road capacity, easing traffic and improving safety — as well as boosting the local economy.

Over the coming 6 months, the government will take the next steps on 55 road improvements across the country, including opening 8 schemes, consulting on 10 schemes and publishing final plans for another 29 schemes.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said:

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.

Over the next 6 months we expect to roll out our vital upgrade plan — taking next steps on £6.1 billion-worth of schemes and seeking to hear from local people, organisations and businesses to help shape our plans and ensure they benefit local communities.

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

Upgrades include adding capacity to sections of the A1 in Northumberland. This shortens journey times, supports economic growth and improves access to and from the county.

Road users will also see proposals to increase capacity at the A12 Colchester Bypass to reduce delays and will also see a new strategic corridor to the south-west via the A303, which will improve journey times to enhance the world heritage site.

Other improvements include a more efficient Junction 19 on the M6 and an upgrade to the link between the Port of Liverpool and the motorway network.

The announcements are important next steps to progress the schemes announced in the 2014 road investment strategy, which outlines how £15.2 billion will be invested in our strategic roads between 2015 and 2021.

The schemes will be delivered by Highways England, which is responsible for the country’s motorways and main trunk roads.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive, said:

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.

Edmund King, AA president, said:

Drivers will welcome this much needed investment on some of the nation’s most important routes.

As well as increasing capacity and smoothing traffic flow, we believe that significant road safety benefits can be to be achieved especially with the A1 improvements.

Following full consultations we hope that the proposed upgrades can be made quickly so drivers can reap the benefits.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

The first five-year road investment strategy reassured millions of drivers and businesses that their long-term travel needs were at last being taken seriously and provided for. But the fear has always been that road programmes, like the morning mists, have a tendency to fade away before our eyes.

This latest unveiling is therefore a particularly welcome demonstration that the promised money is not only available but is being spent on schemes that really matter, and that our calls to remember the local roads — where our journeys begin and end — are being heard.

Schemes include

East

Scheme Next step
A12 Colchester bypass widen Consultation
A5 to M1 link Scheme opening ceremony

South East

Scheme Next step
M27 Southampton Junctions (London and south east) Consultation
M271 Redbridge roundabout Preferred route announcement

London East

Scheme Next step
A12 M25 to Chelmsford Consultation

North East

Scheme Next step
A19 Downhill Lane Preferred route announcement
A1 Scotswood to North Brunton Preferred route announcement
A1 Northumberland (Yorkshire and the north east) Preferred route announcement

Midlands

Scheme Next step
A52 Nottingham junctions Consultation
M42 J6 Preferred route announcement

Yorkshire

Scheme Next step
M621 J1-7 improvements Consultation
A1 Leeming to Barton Scheme opening

North West

Scheme Next step
M6 Junction 19 improvements Preferred route announcement
M56 J11a Preferred route announcement
A585 Windy Harbour Preferred route announcement

South West

Scheme Next step
A358 Taunton-Southfields Preferred route announcement
A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross Preferred route announcement
A303 Sparkford to Ilchester Preferred route announcement

Roads media enquiries

Published 30 June 2017