Press release

More than £44 million improvements for West Midlands before Christmas

Drivers using motorways and major trunk roads in the West Midlands will benefit from £44,735,667 of road improvements between now and Christmas (October to December 2014).

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This is the value of work either beginning or already taking place on the Highways Agency’s regional network in the run up to Christmas, with completion dates varying depending on the length of each scheme.

The focus of the work will be on improving safety and increasing the capacity of roads to help ease congestion and ensure better journey experiences across some of the West Midlands’ busiest roads. In addition, more than 70 miles of motorways and major A roads will benefit from resurfacing and improvements to signage and road markings.

Tim Harbot, Midlands Director for the Highways Agency, said:

This is really good news for road users across the West Midlands because it will ultimately mean less congestion, more reliable journey times and improved safety. Record amounts of money are being invested in roads – that inevitably means more roadworks, but for every scheme we deliver there will be an improvement for drivers.

We are well aware of how frustrating roadworks can be to motorists – but I would like to reassure everyone that all our work is planned very carefully to cause as little disruption as possible. Some is inevitable – and we ask for drivers’ cooperation while the improvements are carried out.

Nationally, every day some four million vehicles use roads managed by the Highways Agency, that’s one third of all traffic; and around 80 per cent of all goods travel by road, with two thirds of large goods vehicles.

In the West Midlands work is being carried out on several significant schemes:

  • The M54 between junctions 3 and 5 westbound near Telford will be improved to include reconstruction of the carriageway, new road markings and new central reservation area and drainage system.
  • On the M6 at junction 5 and between junctions 6 and 7, repair work to leaking gutters is due to begin next month to protect the road surface. By undertaking the scheme at this time, the need for future structural repairs and associated road user disruption will be minimised.
  • The A45/A46 Tollbar junction improvement scheme in Warwickshire continues with work beginning on the construction of two new bridges. Long term benefits of the scheme will result in less congestion as traffic will be able to travel under a roundabout on a new dual carriageway.

A further two schemes are taking place specifically aimed at supporting local developments, relieving congestion and improving safety in the region. They are:

  • A £11.3 million pinch point scheme on the M5 at junction 4 near Bromsgrove to widen a busy roundabout will progress to its final stage in December. Work will involve widening the two existing bridges over the M5 on the roundabout. Once complete, the roundabout will be widened to a four lane carriageway with new road and destination markings on each lane, new signs and traffic signals. Road users can expect better and more reliable journeys and a reduction in queuing back onto the motorway.
  • A separate pinch point scheme at the A5 Mile End junction in Shropshire to increase the size of the roundabout and to realign the junction will be ongoing this year. The scheme will include new footways and pedestrian crossings, upgraded traffic lights, road markings, energy efficient LED street lights and a landscaped area at the centre of the roundabout. This £4million scheme will help tackle congestion and make the road safer by increasing capacity.

If travelling through any roadworks, drivers are advised to plan their journeys and allow more for travel. 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_wmids.

Further information regarding current and planned roadworks in the West Midlands plus neighbouring regions can be found on the Highways Agency website www.highways.gov.uk/roads

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 28 October 2014