Following the Autumn Statement on 23 November, I am today (28 November 2016) setting out further details of road investment.
This new funding of £1.3 billion over this Parliament will help support infrastructure projects on roads, with £1.1 billion for the local road network and £220 million to relieve congestion on the strategic road network.
For the majority of the £1.1 billion there are 3 goals, and those seeking funding for improvements must fulfil at least one of those goals:
- to ease congestion and provide upgrades on important national, regional or local routes
- to unlock economic and job creation opportunities; or
- to enable the delivery of vital new housing developments to meet the needs of a generation of
would-be home owners
This is an essential part of ensuring we have a country which works for everyone.
To ensure that work can start quickly to help continue improvements to the country’s roads, £70 million of funding from the Pothole Action Fund will be allocated by formula to local highway authorities in 2017/18. This funding is on top of the £6 billion the government is already allocating to councils in England up to 2021 to help improve the condition of the local road network.
I am also announcing funding for further development of business cases for 6 schemes from the large local major projects fund in addition to the 6 announced in the Autumn Statement, as well as approval to start construction of the Lincoln Eastern bypass.
The 6 schemes included in the Autumn Statement were:
- Suffolk Energy Gateway new road
- A1079/A164 Jocks Lodge Junction
- Shrewsbury North West Relief Road
- Tees Valley east-west connections
- Sheffield Mass Transit Scheme
- Warrington Waterfront Western link
A further 6 schemes will receive funding to develop business cases:
- Sheffield City Region Innovation Corridor
- Manchester Metrolink airport extension to Terminal 2
- Melton Mowbray Eastern Distributor Road
- New Tees Crossing
- A500 Dualling (Cheshire)
- South Coventry Link Road
This means that development and feasibility work can proceed to the next stage. It does not mean every scheme is certain to go ahead and it remains a competitive process. However, many of these will be among the next set of projects that we build in this country.
Following the confirmation of the National Roads Fund, we are publishing reports on 5 strategic studies, into major improvements on our national road network. On the back of these, government is committing to taking forward major improvements at 3 points on the national network:
- upgrading the A66 to dual carriageway, creating the first new all-dual trans-Pennine link since
- improving the M60 around Manchester – the second busiest road in the country
- building a new Oxford-Cambridge expressway, to link up 3 of England’s fastest growing
Two further studies, into further upgrading of the A1 in the East of England and building a trans-Pennine tunnel, are also reporting. Further economic analysis is to follow, with particular reference to emerging housing plans, before taking decisions on next steps. A sixth study, on the M25 South West Quadrant, will report in 2017.
In addition to bringing forward major projects, we have also announced a £220m package of smaller improvements, which will be quick to deliver and will tackle congestion in the here-and now. This includes improvements to the A69, further enhancing trans-Pennine connectivity.
I am also announcing approval for the £95 million Lincoln Eastern Bypass with a contribution from the Department for Transport of £50 million. This scheme will reduce congestion in the city centre and encourage planned housing growth in the area. Construction will start in the new year.
In order to ensure that our road network is safer for all road users, £175 million of the additional funding for local roads will be used to upgrade some of England’s most dangerous roads, where the risk of fatal and serious collisions is highest. The Road Safety Foundation’s analysis of the safety performance of the country’s major road network highlights where investment should be targeted. Therefore, my department will be inviting proposals from local authorities responsible for the 50 highest risk roads.
This demonstrates that the government is serious about investing in the infrastructure the country needs to drive economic growth both locally and nationally and to ensure that all road users have a well maintained and safe network which is fit for the future.
Further information will be placed in the House Library setting out more detail and the breakdown of funding that the Department for Transport is allocating to local highway authorities for 2017/18.