I am today setting out further details of significant investment for our roads, including announcing the next two major local road schemes and 76 winners from the recent competition for national productivity investment funding on local roads. This funding from the Department for Transport totals £345.3 million.
This funding includes two new large local major road schemes receiving programme entry approval, at Carrington bridge in Worcester and at Middlewich in east Cheshire. The scheme in Worcester will alleviate congestion on the A4440 southern relief road and receive £54.5 million of funding towards a total cost of £62 million. The Middlewich eastern bypass will alleviate congestion in the town centre and facilitate the expansion of the Magnitude employment site. It will receive £46.8 million of funding towards a total cost of £56.9 million.
I am today announcing the winning 76 local projects which will receive funding of £244 million from the national productivity investment fund, during 2018-19 and 2019-20. The schemes will help to ease congestion, provide upgrades on important local routes, as well as facilitating the unlocking of economic and job creation opportunities. They will also support, in some areas, the potential delivery of new housing developments. Further information on today’s announcement is available on the Department for Transport’s website. These projects are an essential part of ensuring we have a country which works for everyone.
The Government announced the road investment strategy (RIS) in December 2014, an ambitious plan to increase much needed road capacity, boost economic development and improve road safety. It seeks to address many years of under-investment in England’s motorways and major trunk roads. Highways England has made good progress on delivery to date, completing 18 road schemes and starting work on 15 more.
Highways England has also undertaken longer-term planning work to ensure that the high level of road investment along key corridors of the network can be delivered in a way to minimise disruption and keep road users moving. These plans also help to mitigate delivery risks and achieve better value for money for the taxpayer. This planning work was referred to in recent ORR and NAO reports on the road investment strategy. I confirm that Government have agreed with Highways England’s plans to optimise delivery of the RIS. This re-profiling and optimisation of delivery is consistent with Highways England’s remit and does not involve any cancellation of schemes, so the regions of England can expect continued and similar levels of road investment.
Further details can be found on Highways England’s website and press releases.