Press release

Major roads investment in the Midlands

£1.4 billion for road investments in the Midlands will create an estimated 900 new construction jobs for the region.

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


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.

The Midlands will benefit from 17 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 demonstration of that. It will directly benefit hardworking families across the Midlands.

This is the biggest investment in roads in a generation and will update major corridors in the Midlands including the M6 and M1, connecting key cities to Manchester, London Sheffield and Leeds.

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 improvement scheme on the M1 motorway, 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 Midlands 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. Ambitious projects, such as the expansion of the M6, M1 and M42, as well as spending on important local infrastructure will boost productivity and help the local economy of the Midlands.

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.

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

  • Catthorpe, where the M1, M6 and A14 meet, is the most strategically important junction on the network, and is midway through a £190 million upgrade
  • half the ‘Birmingham Box’ on the M6 and M42 now has its hard shoulder open to traffic to improve flow
  • work is almost complete on the A453 dual carriageway, a major link between the East Midlands, Nottingham, Derby, Stoke, Birmingham, and East Midlands Airport

Spending during the next parliament on the local and national roads network across the Midlands will be boosted further by maintenance funding worth £2.4 billion.

Highlights of today’s announcement are:

  • expansion of the M6 junction 10 to help 10 key employment sites within a 10 minute radius, and will create 2,500 new homes helping to support economic growth
  • major improvements to junction 6 on the M42, providing better access to Birmingham, and Coventry, supporting Birmingham airport and the NEC and providing capacity for the expected HS2 station
  • the extension of East Midlands’ smart motorways, will open up the hard shoulder on the M1 between junctions 23A and 25, reduce congestion and increase capacity - a further scheme, funded by the developers of the proposed Roxhill rail freight interchange, will transform junctions 24 and 24A, helping to fix one of the worst bottlenecks in the region
  • longer-term, full enhancement of the M1 to smart motorway across the whole of the Midlands, placing Nottingham, Derby and Leicester at the heart of a smart motorway corridor linking Manchester, Yorkshire and London - as part of this, major improvements to M1 junction 21 in Leicester will greatly improve the links between the M1 and M69, improving access to the city and supporting local housing growth
  • planning will begin to dual the Newark northern bypass, and replace the A46 junction with the A1, which will support nearby housing growth and improve links from the A1 to Lincoln
  • in Northamptonshire, a new A14 junction 10A, dualling of the A45 to the A14 and improvements to the Chowns Mill roundabout on the A45 and A6 will allow growth in Kettering and Rushden
  • enhancing the A38 in Derby to create a new expressway from north Derbyshire to the West Midlands and greatly improving journeys within the city for local residents

Detail of the Midlands road schemes

Midlands road investment infographics and images.

Scheme name Scheme description Announced
M1 junctions 28 to 31 M1: junction 28 (Mansfield) to junction 32 (Sheffield): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running; together with existing improvements to the south, this creates a smart motorway link between Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield 2010
A453 widening A453: upgrading between Nottingham and the M1 replacing rural sections with dual carriageway and widening urban sections to 2 lanes in each direction; improving junctions along the route 2011
M6 junctions 10a to 13 M6: junction 10a (M54) to junction 13 (Stafford): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running 2011
A14 Kettering bypass widening A14: junction 7 to junction 9 at Kettering: widening to dual 3 lane 2011
M1 junction 19 improvement M1: junction 19: reconstruction of the Catthorpe Interchange to provide free flowing movement between the A14 and M6, the A14 and M1, and the M6 and M1 2011
A45-A46 Tollbar End A45-A46: replacement of the Tollbar End roundabout with a grade separated junction, plus associated improvements to the adjacent sections of the A46 and A45 2011
M1 junctions 13 to 19 M1: junction 13 (Milton Keynes south) to junction 19 (Catthorpe Interchange with M6 and A14): upgrading to smart motorway, including hard shoulder running; along with other improvements this is an important part of the 'smart spine' linking London and the north west 2013
A38 Derby junctions A38 Derby: replacement of 3 roundabouts to provide grade separated interchanges, raising the A38 in the East Midlands to Expressway standard and removing the conflict between local and long distance traffic 2013
M1 junctions 24 to 25 M1: junction 24 (A453, East Midlands Airport) and junction 25 (A52 between Nottingham and Derby): upgrading to smart motorway, including hard shoulder running 2013
A50 Uttoxeter A50 Uttoxeter: replacement of 2 roundabouts on the A50 at Uttoxeter in Staffordshire with grade separated junctions 2013
M6 junctions 13 to 15 M6: junction 13 (Stafford south) to junction 15 (Stoke south): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running. Along with other improvements, this is an important link in the 'smart spine' linking London and the north west 2013
M6 junctions 2 to 4 M6: junction 2 (M69 interchange) to junction 4 (M42 interchange): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running. Along with other improvements this is part of the 'smart spine' linking London and the north west 2013
M5 junctions 4A to 6 M5: junction 4a (M42 interchange) to junction 6 (Worcester): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running 2013
A500 Etruria widening A500: Etruria: widening the A500 between Wolstanton and Porthill near the Etruria Valley development north of Stoke-on-Trent; this complements measures on the local road network funded under the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire growth deal Autumn Statement 2014
M1 junctions 23A to 24 M1: junction 23a (A42) to junction 24 (A453, East Midlands Airport): upgrading to smart motorway including hard shoulder running, to link with previously announced smart motorway scheme on the M1 junction 24 to junction 25 Autumn Statement 2014
M6 junction 10 improvement M6: junction 10 (Walsall): providing additional capacity at the junction, including the replacement of both bridges allowing the widening of the roundabout to 4 lanes as part of the Black Country local growth deal Autumn Statement 2014
A5 Dodwells to Longshoot widening A5: Hinckley: widening of the section of A5 near Hinckley to dual carriageway where it carries traffic for both the A5 and A47 Autumn Statement 2014
M42 junction 6 M42: junction 6 (Birmingham Airport): upgrading the junction to allow for better movement of traffic on and off the A45, supporting access to the airport and preparing capacity for the new HS2 station Autumn Statement 2014
A46 Coventry junction upgrades A46: Coventry junction upgrades: upgrading the roundabouts at Binley and Walsgrove to provide grade separated junctions on the A46; upgrading the trunk road sections of the A45 and A46 between the M6 and M40 to Expressway standard Autumn Statement 2014
M40 and M42 interchange smart motorways M40 and M42 interchange: upgrading to smart motorway from junction 16 of the M40 and from junction 3 to 3a of the M42 including the introduction of all-lane running to the existing smart motorway section between junction 3 and 3a of the M42 Autumn Statement 2014
A45 and A6 Chowns Mill junction improvement A45 and A6 Chowns Mill, Higham Ferrers: improvements, including segregated lanes, signalisation and improved approach roads at the A45 and A6 junction at Higham Ferrers in Northamptonshire Autumn Statement 2014
M5 junctions 5, 6 and 7 junction upgrades M5: junction 5 (Droitwich north) to junction 7 (Worcester south): significant expansion to junction 6 near Worcester with improvements to approach roads and additional measures to improve capacity on junctions 5 and 7 Autumn Statement 2014
A43 Abthorpe junction A43: Abthorpe junction, Towcester: providing  additional capacity at the A43 Abthorpe junction (see also A5 and A43 Towcester southern extension) Autumn Statement 2014
A52 Nottingham junctions A52: Nottingham: package of measures to improve junctions along the A52, including signalisation and junction reconstruction Autumn Statement 2014
M54 to M6 and M6 toll link road M54 to M6 and M6 toll: adding north facing access between the M54 and the M6 and M6 toll between junctions 10a and 11 2013
A14 junction 10a A14: a new grade separated junction 10a east of Kettering, along with closure of east facing slip roads at junction 10, to support the East Ketttering Sustainable Urban Extension Autumn Statement 2014
A5 Towcester relief road A5 and A43: Towcester: a new link road to the south of the town, allowing traffic to bypass central Towcester (see also A43 Abthorpe junction) Autumn Statement 2014
M1 junctions 24 to 24A improvement Developer-funded upgrade to the M1 to link junctions 24A and 24, with a direct link from the A50 to the southbound M1 for the first time. Developer planning application made in 2014
A46 Newark northern bypass Improve A46 and A1 junction to improve access to Newark and Lincoln, as well as an upgrade of the A46 to dual carriageway to extend the A46 Newark to Widmerpool improvement to the A1 Autumn Statement 2014
M1 junctions 19-23A Upgrade of the remaining sections of the M1 in the Midlands to smart motorway standard, creating a continuous smart motorway link from London to Yorkshire. As part of the improvement, upgrades will be made to junction 21, improving the links from the M1 to the M69 and relieving pressure on the main junction. Autumn Statement 2014
M5 and M42 Birmingham Box phase 4 Improving the M42 and M5 around Birmingham to smart motorways, filling out the Birmingham box, plus improvements to M5 and M6 junction. Autumn Statement 2014
A45 Stanwick to Thrapston Upgrading of the last single carriageway section between the A14 and the M1, helping growth in Northampton, reducing traffic pressure on Kettering and supporting wider housing growth. Scheme will take careful account of nearby Stanwick Lakes SSSI. Autumn Statement 2014
M6 J5 to J8 smart motorway Smart motorways in northern Birmingham, including the stretch around Spaghetti junction. Scheme opened in 2014. 2010 - completed

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Published 1 December 2014