Government pledges £93 million road investment

The government has announced £93m in funding for road upgrades across the country, with more than half going to the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today confirmed the cash is being used to ‘fuel the economic recovery from Covid-19’.

The Kex Gill section of the A59 in North Yorkshire is set to receive £56m for a ‘dramatic overhaul’ that will see traffic diverted away from a landslip-prone area. It will have the added benefit of reducing traffic in nearby villages and provide more reliable journey times in the region.

Birchley Island in the West Midlands will receive £24m to reduce congestion in the area. The roundabout links the M5, A4123 and A4034, with works planned to widen the existing carriageway on the roundabout and introduce additional lanes. Meanwhile, pedestrian and cyclist facilities will also be improved.

M1 widening
M1 widening

Finally, £13m has been earmarked for the Redbridge Causeway bridge upgrades in Hampshire. The roads link the New Forest to Southampton and acts as an access route for local business and hauliers, carrying 60,000 vehicles per day.

The funding is being used to speed up delivery of the works as well as reducing the need for more disruption in the future.

Transport Secretary Grant 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, said: “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.”

The total cost of the three schemes is expected to be £107m, with local councils providing the rest of the funding after the government’s investment.