Press release

Major roads investment in London and the south east

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

£1.4 billion package for 18 new road schemes in London and south east of England.

An ambitious £15 billion plan to triple levels of spending by the end of the decade to increase the capacity and condition of England’s roads, was announced to Parliament today (1 December 2014) by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

London and the south east of England will benefit from 18 new schemes worth around £1.4 billion creating an estimated 900 construction jobs.

Patrick McLoughlin said:

Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve the 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 a demonstration of that. It will directly benefit hardworking families across London and the south east.

This is the biggest investment in roads in a generation and will update major corridors in and around London and the south east, including the M25, A27 and A34.

A radical overhaul began in 2010 with the following major improvements in the area:

  • an upgrade to the M25 to create 4 lanes throughout by the end of 2014
  • the newly widened A23 which has opened south of Crawley
  • dualling of the Tonbridge bypass which is expected to begin next year

Spending during the next parliament on the local and national roads network across London and the south east will be boosted further by maintenance funding worth £1.9 billion.

Chair of the Cabinet Infrastructure Committee and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said:

World class infrastructure is vital if we are to build a stronger economy, but it matters in other ways too. It invigorates communities and gives people more opportunities to get on in life. This is why I have ensured that this government has prioritised funding roads, and railways, at a high level for future generations.

For decades our roads have suffered from under investment, so I’m particularly delighted to be able to announce this expansive range of new road schemes today. Investment on this scale is only possible because we have taken the difficult decisions needed to control our public finances and stuck to our recovery plan which is now delivering strong growth and record numbers of jobs.

These projects, like the scheme on the A27 around Arundel, will help unleash the economic potential of both the regions they serve and of the overall economy.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said:

I promised when I was in the south east that we would address this area’s economic needs for the future.

Our Long term-economic plan means today we can invest £1.4 billion into the region’s infrastructure to improve, repair and expand our roads.

Our plans will transform some of the country’s most important strategic routes, such as our ambitious projects to improve the M25 and A27, and spending on important local infrastructure will boost productivity and help the local economy of the south east.

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 and local growth by creating a road network that is fit for the 21st century.

Highlights of today’s announcement are:

  • improvements will be made to around 10 of the 31 junctions on the M25, including
    • expanding junction 30 to improve access to the new London Gateway port
    • a major rebuilding of junction 10, improving the least-safe junction on the motorway network
    • significant capacity enhancements between junctions 10 and 16 on the main carriageway, with new smart motorway technology to improve capacity and ease congestion
    • a strategic study to look at long-term answers to conditions on the south-west quadrant of the M25, that can make the route effective for a generation to come
  • investing around £350 million to transform the A27, with a new bypass at Arundel to complete the ‘missing link’, plus further improvements around Worthing, Lancing and Lewes - this will help the A27 link together as a single route, supporting the development of the local economy and removing notorious congestion hotspots
  • better access to ports, through
    • enhanced junctions on the A20 in Dover, for better access to the port and supporting new homes and jobs
    • improvements to the M271 Redbridge junction, required to get to Southampton docks
  • the A34, the main route from the Midlands to Southampton, will see investment of £30 million to ensure a crucial freight link and enhanced junctions will improve journeys around Oxford and Winchester
  • the A31 at Ringwood will be widened to help local traffic crossing the Avon and substantially improving safety
  • a new feasibility study will look at creating an expressway link between Oxford and Cambridge via Milton Keynes, fixing a long-standing gap in the network and bringing new capacity to support the growth of Bicester

Detail of the London and the south east of England road schemes

London and the south east of England road investment infographics and images.

Scheme name Scheme description Announced
M3 junctions 2 to 4A M3: junction 2 (M25 interchange) to junction 4a (A327 Farnborough): upgrading the M3 to smart motorway including hard shoulder running. 2012
M4 junctions 3 to 12 M4: junction 3 (Uxbridge) to junction 12 (Reading west): upgrading to smart motorway linking Reading to Heathrow. 2013
M25 junction 30 M25 junction 30 (A13): comprehensive expansion of the junction including free-flowing links from the southbound M25 to the eastbound A13. The scheme improves access to ports in the Thames estuary. 2012
M20 junctions 3 to 5 M20: junction 3 (M26 interchange) to junction 5 (Maidstone): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running. 2013
M23 junctions 8 to 10 M23: junction 8 (M25 interchange) to junction 10 (Crawley): upgrading to smart motorway, improving connections to Gatwick Airport. 2013
A21 Tonbridge to Pembury A21: Tonbridge to Pembury: dualling of the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury, linking existing high quality dual carriageway north of Tonbridge with existing dual carriageway to the south and providing a grade separated junction at Longfield Road. 2013
M3 junctions 9 to 14 M3: junction 9 (Winchester/A34 interchange) to Junction 14 (M27 interchange): upgrading to smart motorway, linking with the smart motorway scheme on the M27. 2013
M27 junctions 4 to 11 M27: junction 4 (M3 interchange) to junction 11 (Fareham): upgrading to smart motorway, linking with the smart motorway scheme on the M3. 2013
A34 Technology enhancements A34: M4 (junction 13) to M40 (junction 9): technology improvements, including detection loops, CCTV cameras and other driver information systems. Autumn Statement 2014
A34 Oxford junctions A34: Oxford: improvements at Peartree and Botley interchanges. Autumn Statement 2014
M25 junction 25 improvement M25: junction 25 (Cheshunt): junction improvements to provide widening, signals and free flow left turn. Autumn Statement 2014
M25 junction 28 improvement M25: junction 28 (Brentwood): upgrading the interchange with the A12 to provide dedicated left turn lanes and improvement of the gyratory system. Autumn Statement 2014
M4 Heathrow slip road M4: junction 4 and 4a (access to Heathrow Airport): improved access to Heathrow Airport through improved pinch point signing and signals; underpass for non-motorised users and local environmental mitigation. Autumn Statement 2014
M2 junction 5 improvements M2: junction 5 (A249): additional capacity at the junction through improvements to slip roads and enhanced approaches to the junction. Autumn Statement 2014
M25 junctions 10 to 16 M25: junction 10 (A3) to junction 16 (M40 interchange): upgrading smart motorway and substantial widening of junction 11 (Chertsey); this provides for 4 lane running through junctions on the M25 between junction 10 and junction 16 leading to fi lane smart motorway. Autumn Statement 2014
M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange M25: junction 10 (A3 Wisley): improvement of the interchange to allow free-flowing movement in all directions, together with improvements to the neighbouring Painshill interchange on the A3 to improve safety and reduce congestion. Autumn Statement 2014
M3 junction 9 improvement M3: junction 9 (A34): comprehensive package of improvements, to include new links and widening and remodelling of junction 9 to allow more free-flowing connections and reduce congestion. Autumn Statement 2014
M3 junction 10 to 11 improved sliproads M3 junction 10 to junction 11 (Winchester south): improvements for merging traffic to include technology, widening and lane realignment to smooth flow of traffic onto the M3 and assist flow to Southampton port. Autumn Statement 2014
M3 junctions 12 to 14 improved sliproads M3: junction 14 (M27 interchange) to junction 12 (Eastleigh) northbound: carriageway widening and junction reconfiguration to improve capacity through the junction. Autumn Statement 2014
M27 Southampton junctions M27: junction 5 (Southampton Airport) to junction 8 (A3024): widening and signalisation of slip roads and access routes to junction 8, and replacement of rail bridges in Southampton (on local road network) to reduce pressure on the motorway. Autumn Statement 2014
M271 / A35 Redbridge roundabout upgrade M271/A35: junction improvements to provide a dedicated left turn lane for traffic leaving the M271 for Southampton Port and free flow traffic from the port onto the M271. Autumn Statement 2014
A27 Arundel bypass A27 Arundel: new dual carriageway bypass, subject to consultation with the National Parks Authority, local authorities and the publication of this and alternative options. Autumn Statement 2014
A27 Worthing and Lancing improvements A27 Worthing and Lancing: improvements to capacity and junctions along the A27, subject to consultation with West Sussex County Council and the public. Autumn Statement 2014
A31 Ringwood A31: Ringwood: widening to 3 lanes and junction improvements providing more capacity for local traffic; adjustments to nearby road network to provide improvements for pedestrians; addresses safety and congestion issues. Autumn Statement 2014
A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions A2: Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions: improvements to the junctions on the A2 near Bluewater to enable major developments in the vicinity of Ebbsfleet. 2013
M20 junction 10a M20: J10a (Ashford): new junction to support major development to the south east of Ashford. 2013
A27 Chichester improvement A27 Chichester bypass: upgrading the 4 junctions on the Chichester bypass. 2013
A20 Access to Dover A20: Access to Dover: local improvements to improve access to the Port of Dover from the M20; includes redesigning 2 junctions to provide free flow journeys for lorries resulting in improvements to safety and air quality. (Developer funded)
M27 junction 10 Developer-funded improvements to M27 J10, providing access both east and west in place of the current junction layout. Helps significant housing growth around Fareham. (Developer funded)
Lower Thames Crossing Examination of options for an additional crossing at or below the Dartford Crossing. 2009
A3 Guildford Widening of existing A3 through Guildford to the Hogs Back (A31) junction, with improvements to junction safety. Autumn Statement 2014
M25 junctions 5-6/7 Introduction of smart motorways along the southern section of the M25. Scheme opened in 2014. 2010 - completed
M25 junctions 23-27 Introduction of smart motorways along the northern section of the M25. Scheme opened in 2014. 2010 - completed
A23 Handcross to Warninglid Widening of the A23 south of Crawley to 3 lanes. Scheme opened in 2014. 2010 - completed
Oxford to Cambridge expressway Study of the potential to link Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge, making use of existing roads where possible and considering the case for filling missing links. Autumn Statement 2014
M25 south-west quadrant Study of long-term options for improving conditions on the south west section of the M25. Autumn Statement 2014

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