Smart Transport

Government pledges £93m for major road upgrades

Queue of cars

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has pledged £93 million for road upgrades in North Yorkshire, Hampshire and the Midlands as part of Government plans to "build back better" from Covid-19.

More than half of the funding is set to go to the 'Northern Powerhouse', with up to £56 million to overhaul the Kex Gill section of the A59 in North Yorkshire, which is prone to landslides. The proposed new road will divert traffic away from the area, helping to remove traffic from nearby villages and and offering more reliable journeys, the Department for Transport said. 

The West Midlands will receive £24m to reduce congestion at Birchley Island, which is situated at the intersection of the M5, A4123 and A4034. The proposed scheme will widen the existing carriageway on the roundabout and introduce additional lanes to improve connectivity between the Midlands and the national motorway network. Pedestrians and cyclists will also see improved facilities at the intersection.

The remaining £13 million will go to Hampshire for upgrades to the Redbridge Causeway bridges over the River Test, which carry roughly 60,000 vehicles a day.

The total cost of the three schemes is expected to reach £107 million, with local councils providing the remainder of the funding, pending legal processes. 

Shapps said: "I am delighted to announce this significant funding package, which will ensure millions of people can continue to travel easily and safely. It’s further proof of this Government delivering on its promise to level up the country – putting transport at the heart of our efforts to build back better from Covid-19.

"The projects will help people access work and education, as well as ensuring vital connectivity for local businesses."

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay added: "Upgrading the country’s roads doesn’t just help drivers – it’ll mean more jobs, safer journeys and more reliable access to things like education and work.

"This Government is pressing ahead with our commitment to level up the country – even through this pandemic – ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to get on in life regardless of where they live."


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