For travellers, the Highways Agency is to deliver 7 vital road improvements to boost the economy, reduce congestion and improve safety in the South West, as announced by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. Nothing in here for Cornwall or North Devon but perhaps good news in easing congestion in other parts of the south west.
The regional schemes, costing £15 million, are part of a £217 million national programme to remove bottlenecks and keep traffic moving on England’s motorways and major A roads. Many of the improvements will be delivered in 2013 and 2014, and they will all be completed by March 2015. Today’s announcement brings the total number of schemes to receive investment from the Government’s pinch point fund to 65. A third stage of projects will be announced next year.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“These £217 million road improvements prove the Government’s determination to accelerate growth and cut congestion.Keeping traffic moving is vital to securing prosperity. By removing bottlenecks and improving access to local enterprise zones, key international trading ports and communities, these road schemes will help get people to and from work and power the economy. They also have the potential to help deliver more than 300,000 new jobs and 150,000 new homes.”
In the South West, the schemes comprise:
• A38 Drumbridges roundabout improvement, Newton Abbott
• A38/A380 Splatford Split improvement, Devon
• A38 Manadon slip road improvement, Plymouth
• M5 junction 16 slip road improvement, South Gloucestershire
• M5 junction 30 slip road improvement, Exeter
• M5 junction 17 slip road improvement, Bristol
• A303 Cartgate roundabout improvement, Yeovil
These improvement schemes form part of the Government’s growth initiative outlined during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November 2011. Funds have been allocated to the Highways Agency to undertake focused improvements to the strategic road network.
A38 Drumbridges roundabout improvement, Newton Abbott
Reduce congestion by increasing capacity, installing traffic signals and constructing a pedestrian and cycle bridge.
Identified as a major, high priority improvement in the Devon and Torbay Local Transport Plan, with the potential to support 1,760 new jobs and 1,200 new homes by 2020.
Cost £4.1m. Starts 2014. Ends 2015.
A38/A380 Splatford Split improvement
Reduce congestion by creating an additional lane for traffic merging with the A38 from the A380.
Supports growth in the region by unlocking significant pieces of land and attracting new businesses to the area. Potential to support 10,000 new jobs and 1,900 new homes by 2020.
Cost £5.5m. Starts 2014. Ends 2015.
A38 Manadon slip road improvement, Plymouth
Reducing congestion by widening and lengthening the entry slip roads onto the A38.
Supports major developments in the area that could create 2,350 jobs and 2,735 homes by 2020.
Cost £1.8m. Starts 2014. Ends 2014.
M5 junction 16 slip road improvement, South Gloucestershire
Reducing congestion by widening the northbound exit slip road, creating a lane for traffic turning left towards the A38 north.
Supports access to Bristol airport and port. Supports growth in places such as Filton Airfield, Patchway and Cribbs Causeway, with the potential to create 6,350 jobs and 2,990 homes by 2020.
Cost £0.3m. Starts 2014. Ends 2014.
M5 junction 30 slip road improvement, Exeter
Reducing congestion by widening the southbound exit slip road and improving traffic signals.
Supports planned developments such as Cranbrook, Newcourt and Sowton Industrial Estate. Supports development in the East of Exeter Enterprise Area. Potential to create 12,735 jobs and 5,480 homes by 2020.
Cost £0.9m. Starts 2014. Ends 2014.
M5 junction 17 slip road improvement, Bristol
Reduce congestion by widening the southbound exit slip road and providing an additional hard shoulder as well as providing a new, dedicated left turn lane on Merlin Road.
Supports growth at Filton, Cribbs Causeway and Patchway. Provides access to south west Bristol, Easter Compton and Severn Beach. Supports developments that could create 6,350 jobs and 2,990 homes by 2020.
Cost £1.1m. Starts 2014. Ends 2014.