England plans $23.5bn ‘roads revolution’

UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced plans for a $23.5bn "revolution" to increase the capacity and condition of England’s roads. 

The project will add 2,000km of lanes to motorways and A-roads, thereby creating an estimated 1,000 construction jobs. 

The plans include:  

  • A $3.15bn development to the south-east’s A303 and A358. This will create a dual carriageway with a tunnel at Stonehenge.
  • Improvements to one-third of the junctions on London’s M25 orbital road.
  • A continuous "expressway" from Cambridge to Bedford and Milton Keynes.
  • The development of the M42 to the east of Birmingham.
  • More than $470m will be spent on transforming the A47 around Peterborough, Norwich and Great Yarmouth to reduce congestion.
  • $450m will be spent on the A1 dual carriageway from London to Ellingham. The two-lane section of the A1(M) around Stevenage and the notorious Black Cat roundabout will also be improved.
  • There will be a $550 development to the A27 along the south coast.
  • An upgrade on the A12 in Essex, with a third lane between Chelmsford and Colchester. 
  • The rebuilding of the A12/M25 junction. 
  • A new link road from the A5 to the M1 near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, including a junction, 11A, that will encourage the development of 7,000 homes at Houghton Regis.
  • An $80m development at Harlow on the M11 to provide quicker access to and from the town. 

Work began on some of the projects in 2010. The A14 between Cambridge to Huntingdon has been given a $2.4bn upgrade, and additions to the A11 have provided the first-ever dual carriageway link to Norfolk. 

McLoughlin said: "Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve the network and unlock Britain’s economic potential. Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity. For too long they have suffered from under-investment." 

George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, said: "For years our roads have been neglected. Now that this government is fixing the economy, we can afford to invest properly in our roads – unlocking jobs and local growth by creating a road network that is fit for the 21st century.

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