Busy A-roads to be turned into expressways

Updated: 
Highways England road plan upgrades
Andrew Parsons/PA WIRE

Traffic-choked A-roads in England will be turned into "mini motorways" as part of a £11 billion investment, The Times reports.

Highways England – the newly re-branded Highways Agency – will oversee the upgrade of 18 of the busiest A-roads, which will be turned into continental-style expressways, with the removal of many junctions, traffic lights and roundabouts. Slow moving traffic such as bicycles will also be restricted and refuge and maintenance areas will be installed.

As part of the plans, Wi-fi technology will be installed along routes to provide drivers with quick access to route and traffic information. It will also be used to quickly detect and clear accidents.

The first routes to be transformed into the new class of road, which will sit between A-roads and motorways, will be sections of the A303 and A30 from the M3 to Exeter, as well as the A1 north of Newcastle.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "The provision for new expressway schemes has the potential to transform some of the country's most congested and frustrating roads. However, motorists will want to know such multi-billion pound projects have been fully budgeted for if they are to believe that they will become a reality, rather than just an empty promise," Auto Express reports.

"The devil of the new proposals will be in the detail – what rules will apply to these new types of highway? And how will they be designed in a way that is safe for motorists? A clear national standard on their operation will need to be looked at."

A spokesperson for the Highways Agency added that the "changes will improve journeys for our customers, boost safety and drive economic growth."

What do you think of the proposed improvements to the nation's A-roads? Let us know in the comments section below.