Highways England announces £1.8bn road improvement plan

Highways England has met with suppliers to set out how £1.8 billion of government investment to improve the capacity and condition of roads in the Midlands will be delivered.

The investment will see improvements and repairs along a series of motorways and A roads between now and 2021, giving road users simpler, faster and more reliable journeys. It will also boost the area’s economy and help to bring the country closer together.

The work is part of the government’s ‘Road Investment Strategy’ to triple levels of spending on roads by the end of the decade, which was announced last year. Highways England, the government-owned company which took over responsibility for England’s motorways and major A roads earlier this year, set out its plan for the West Midlands at an event in Birmingham.

Highlights included:

  • improvements planned for M42 junction 6
  • new smart motorway around the M42/M40 interchange
  • development of a new link road connecting M54, M6 and the M6 Toll
  • new, bigger M6 Junction 10
  • plans to replace roundabouts at A50 Uttoxeter
  • widening of the A500 at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent
  • new smart motorway between M6 junctions 13 and 15
  • improvements planned for A46 junctions
  • a new smart motorway between junction 2 and 4 of the M6
  • improvement for the A38 Derby junctions
  • widening of the A5 Dodwells to Longshoot
  • a new smart motorway between junction 23a and 25 of the M1

Across the Midlands, Highways England will also put millions into maintenance schemes, environmental improvements and provision for cyclists.

Highways England Regional Director, Tim Harbot said: “These new schemes will bring huge improvements to journeys around the Midlands.

“The government has committed record funding to specific transport projects here so the Midlands can act as a transport hub for the entire country. As Highways England, we’re delivering that investment to help to unlock billions for the economy by increasing road capacity, improving the flow of traffic and improving safety and accessibility for all road users.”

Roads Minister Andrew Jones said: “Successive governments have failed to invest the sums necessary in transport. In many parts the system is at capacity. That is why we are committing a record £5.2 billion in total to specific transport projects in the Midlands, so that the region can act as a transport hub for the entire country.

“We’re upgrading key roads like the M1 and the M6 and fixing key road junctions in Derby and Nottingham so hardworking families can have better access to jobs, shops and leisure facilities.”