m42 highway england

UK Government-owned company Highways England has announced that more than £600m will be invested over the next five years for major improvements on North East roads, in order to reduce congestion and journey times for drivers.

The company has a five-year budget of more than £11bn to invest in England’s motorways and major A roads. The projects are expected to bring significant benefits to the users of the Strategic Road Network in the North East.

The investment will be used on delivering major improvements to the region’s roads, starting or completing six major road schemes and carrying out further development of further four major schemes.

Highways England Yorkshire and North East divisional director Vanessa Gilbert said: "In addition to the £600m of major improvements across the region, it is vital that we continue to improve the existing road network as well, which is why across Yorkshire and the North East we will be spending £130m a year for the next five years on maintenance and smaller scale improvement schemes.

"Motorways and trunk roads form the backbone of the region’s economy and this huge investment will ensure they remain healthy for many years to come."

"Motorways and trunk roads form the backbone of the region’s economy and this huge investment will ensure they remain healthy for many years to come."

Work has already started on these projects, with £61m covering A1 widening improvements, which will add an extra lane on a four-mile stretch of the A1 between Junction 67 Coal House, and Junction 71 Metro Centre, providing three lanes in each direction.

The number of lanes will also be increased from two to five lanes on a third-of-a-mile section of the A1 between Junction 68 at Lobley Hill and Junction 69 at Gateshead Quays.

The £100m A19 Coast Road project is scheduled to be initiated in spring next year, providing access to Port of Tyne and to major employment sites.

The four new road projects include A19 Testos, A19 Down Hill Lane, A1 and A19 technology enhancement, and A19 Norton to Wynyard.

The £70m A19 Testos Junction improvement is scheduled to begin in 2017/18 and will include construction of a flyover to take the A19 over the Testos junction.

The £40m A19 Down Hill Lane Junction improvement will start between 2017 and 2018, while the £140m A1 and A19 technology improvements, which are currently undergoing scheme design, are anticipated to begin in 2016.

The £140-£220m A19 Norton to Wynyard road widening, designed to relieve congestion, is currently assessing scheme options.

Apart from this investment, Highways England will also be taking forward and delivering solutions to the feasibility study carried out for the A1 north of Newcastle.

Consultation with key stakeholders, traffic and environmental surveys will begin this year with construction of the A1 north of Ellingham improvements in advance of the dualling scheme, which is planned to begin in 2018.

The company noted that work continues to develop three future schemes on the A1 including A1 Morpeth to Ellingham dualling, A1 Scotswood to North Brunton and A1 Birtley to Coal House widening.

Image: The M42 motorway is a major road in England that runs north-east from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. Photo: courtesy of Highways England.