Drivers will benefit from £106 million of investment on strategic roads in the South West over the next few months.
The Highways Agency has a major programme of work taking place until April 2015, with £77 million being spent on maintenance schemes and a further £29 million being spent on improvements.
Highways Agency Regional Director, Andrew Page-Dove, said:
The country is in the early stages of the biggest road improvement programme since the 1970s and this is excellent news for road users in the South West.
While this means more roadworks in the short term the Agency is carrying out this large programme of work, as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order to invest in the economy and support growth.
These road improvements will deliver benefits to drivers in the long term by tackling congestion, making journey times more reliable and improving safety.
We are delivering a total of 14 pinch point schemes in the region designed to deliver smaller scale improvements to the strategic road network that will help to stimulate growth in the local economy, relieve congestion and improve safety.
Two pinch point schemes are planned for the M5. The first is at Junction 16, South Gloucstershire where we are widening the slip road within the existing highway boundary. Work will be carried out to add an additional lane for traffic turning left towards the A38 heading north.
At junction 17 near Bristol we are resurfacing and providing an upgrade to the signs and lining on the southbound off-slip to allow traffic to move towards Cribbs Causeway more swiftly. Both schemes will start this winter at a combined cost of £1.55 million.
At the A40 Over Roundabout at Gloucester we are also widening the approach from the west to allow for a right turn lane onto the roundabout and widening the roundabout carriageway on the north side. This work will start this winter at a cost of £200,000. On the A303 near Yeovil, Somerset we are making a £1.25 million investment at Cartgate Roundabout where we will be providing dedicated left turn lanes from the A303 into Yeovil and from Yeovil on to the A303.
Other pinch point schemes are planned at the A40 Longford Roundabout, on the M5 at junction 27.
Our maintenance investrment includes an £18 million programme of repairs on four M5 bridges in Glouchester. Another £5.4 million is being spend on joint replacement and waterproofing on the Huntsworth Viaduct on the M5 near Bridgewater.
Major drainage repair works on the A36 between Claverton and Dundas are also scheduled early next year and by March we will have resurfaced at least 121 miles of carriageway throughout the region.
Highways Agency, Area Manager Dave Sledge said:
These schemes form part of a major investment in the roads infrastructure and the Agency understands that while this will have a positive benefit for South West roads and economy, there will also be disruption to drivers during any roadworks.
Every effort is being taken to make sure the work is taking place in a coordinated way and that schemes are delivered in a manner that minimises the impact on drivers, but the number of schemes taking place means drivers will experience a greater number of roadworks over the next year.
During any roadworks we advise drivers to plan their journeys and allow greater time to make the journeys while they are being delivered. Drivers can get up-to-the-minute travel information by phoning the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 or by accessing the Agency’s website: www.highways.gov.uk/traffic Drivers can also download the Highways Agency’s iPhone app or follow updates via Twitter at @HAtraffic_swest.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.