News story

Major Road Network investment to boost motorists' journeys

Government launches consultation on which roads to include in new Major Road Network.

Road in Dorset.

‘Key ‘A’ roads across the country could benefit from up to £100 million each of funding as government releases consultation on the Major Roads Network (MRN) today (23 December 2017).

The MRN consultation proposes that 5,000 miles of ‘A’ road - that’s over 20 times the length of the UK’s longest motorway - are brought into scope for new funding from the National Roads Fund for upgrades and improvements.

Upgrade schemes which could be considered are:

  • bypasses
  • missing links between existing routes
  • road widening
  • major junction improvements
  • the use of technological and safety enhancements along stretches of the network

Under the proposals in the consultation, each successful bid will be eligible for up to £100 million of government funding under the proposals and will help cut congestion, unlock housing and boost economic growth.

A new MRN

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

For decades, these major local roads have been underfunded and not properly maintained.

We are spending record amounts on improving our roads and we want more of our busiest roads to benefit from guaranteed investment.

This will unlock no end of benefits for communities by improving motorists’ journeys, taking traffic away from built up areas, as well as enabling new housing to be built and creating jobs.

The consultation on the ‘A’ roads which will make up the MRN and the level of funding per scheme starts today and will last 12 weeks.

It is planned that a review of the MRN will mirror the planned investment in the strategic road network - motorways and large A roads managed by Highways England. This means improvements on both networks will deliver more benefits for users.

Under the proposals, road upgrades will be developed by councils and, where possible, sub-national transport bodies - a regional body which influences funding decisions such as Transport for the North - meaning they will be designed by the areas to deliver the best solutions for their roads.

From 2020 the National Roads Fund will be paid for by Vehicle Excise Duty, which raised about £6 billion last year.

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Published 23 December 2017