UK government investing £220m to help motorists beat congestion

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Traffic hotspots across England have been identified by the UK Government to receive millions of pounds of new investment for junction upgrades, roundabout improvements, and better traffic signaling.

The schemes, worth about £110m (US$133.8m), will cut congestion and journey times for motorists and improve safety. They will all be completed by spring 2020. The funding includes two larger projects, worth £30m (US$36.5m), which will create an unbroken stretch of dual carriageway on the A69 between Hexham and Newcastle. A further £14m (US$17m) will go towards creating a new junction on the M11 to provide another route into Harlow, cutting journey times as well as unlocking housing developments. A further £110m (US$133.8m) will be invested on improving more roads, with details to be revealed at a later date.

The funding is broken down as follows:

• £27.4m for the North West, where Highways England (HE) has identified four schemes to tackle congestion – two to improve the A595/A66 junctions at Great Clifton and the Fitz Roundabout, as well as the A585 at Norcross and junction 3 of the M55. A further £21m has been set aside to improve roads in the region;

• £63m for Yorkshire and the North East, where £30mwill go to two A69 upgrades, as well as £14.8m invested in enhancing seven congested junctions, as well as a further £18.2m on other areas to be identified shortly;

• £23m for the Midlands, where four schemes, worth £9.9m, will cut congestion in the region, reducing queues at Old Stratford and Ogley Hay on the A5, junction 3 of the M42 and junction 27 on the M1. Details of schemes benefitting from an additional £14m will be announced in due course;

• £53m for the South East, which will benefit from £11.6m on four projects and £41.6m for future schemes;

• £32m for the South West, where the M5 will see almost £20m of improvements to ensure better journeys for motorists, and about £12m will be allocated shortly;

• £16 million for the East, with £14m investment in the M11 junction 7a scheme at Harlow, and the region will benefit from another £2.8m of investment to ease congestion.

Announcing the new funding, UK Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said, “We are making the most extensive improvements to roads in the last 40 years, investing a record £23 billion to keep our country moving and make journeys faster, better and more reliable for everyone. We are also spending a further £1.3 billion over the course of this parliament to relieve congestion and provide important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future. These schemes announced today will provide quick relief to millions of drivers and save them from getting stuck in traffic.”

Nick Harris, Highways England’s operations director, said, “This continued investment in our motorways and major roads is bringing real benefits to communities up and down the country, and we will continue working with our partners to improve journeys for everyone who uses our roads.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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