Highways England to take up £20m worth of road improvement schemes


Highways England will undertake £20m worth of road improvement schemes, which will create thousands of jobs and homes in the south west.

The road improvement schemes will be implemented on M4 and M5 / A30 highways, and are anticipated to unlock the development of more than 3,300 homes and create more than 6,000 jobs for people living in Swindon, Exeter and Weston-Super-Mare.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We’re undertaking the biggest modernisation programme for a generation to bring our roads into the 21st century and give people the safe and reliable journeys they expect.

"The improvements we are announcing today are necessary to accommodate the extra journeys the developments will create but without the Government investment they would not have been viable."

“But these improvements will do even more, allowing the construction of thousands of homes and the creation of thousands of jobs to give a huge boost to the area’s economy.”

About £2.54m of the scheme will be taken up on A1, which will bolster economic growth in Darlington in the north east.

Apart from the private sector developer contributions, HE will invest more than £11m in four road improvement schemes from its Growth and Housing Fund.

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “We’re committed to working with local partners to deliver specific schemes such as these which will make a real difference to communities and support regional economies.

“The improvements we are announcing today are necessary to accommodate the extra journeys the developments will create but without the Government investment they would not have been viable.

“We will continue to use our Growth and Housing Fund and work with a range of local stakeholders to unlock further development sites around the country.”

Of the four schemes announced by the UK Transport Secretary include the intersection of the M4 Junction 15 and the A419 near Swindon. The government has allocated £5m for these works, and the construction under this scheme will start in 2018.

Approximately, £4.5m will be spent on A30 / M5 J29 Tithebarn Link Road, while a fund of approximately £750,000 will be used for improving the northbound M5 at Junction 21, near Weston-Super-Mare, and £1.01m will be spent on the improvement of  junction 58 of the A1(M) at Darlington.