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Further bad news for road building

There was more bad news for road building yesterday as transport secretary Philip Hammond revealed that no new local authority schemes will be considered for at least two years at the same time as shelving a number of managed motorway schemes.

In addition to the schemes cancelled in last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Hammond mothballed work on the M1/M6 junction 19 improvement and M20 junction 10a, which had been due to start by 2012.

The Highways Agency’s budget for major projects, capital maintenance and enhancements has been cut to £4bn over the four years of the review period. Its current business plan for 2010/11 will see it spend £2.7bn on major improvements and maintaining the network.

While Hammond gave the green light to five existing managed motorway schemes in the first two planned tranches would go ahead, he put on hold three that had been scheduled to begin by 2015 – M6 junctions 10a to 13, M3 junctions 2 to 4a and M4 junctions 3 to 12.

Also on hold until at least 2015 is the improvement of junction 30 of the M25 – a project that has connections to the development of the London Gateway development by DP World.

The following have also been ruled out for the next five years:

  • A14 Kettering Bypass
  • A160/A180 Immingham
  • A19 Testos
  • A19/A1058 Coast Road Junction
  • A21 Tonbridge – Pembury
  • A27 Chichester Bypass
  • A38 Derby Junctions
  • A45/A46 Tollbar End
  • A453 Widening
  • A5-M1 Link Road
  • A63 Castle Street

Readers' comments (1)

  • Philip Alexander

    It would be nice to think that the transport secretary had put a hold on some of the managed motorway schemes because he realized these represent a totally retrograde development of the UK motorway network and a major safety backwards step. But seeing that he's also given some MM schemes the go-ahead, it seems that it's just a case of business as usual ie budget cuts, no more, no less. But what a wonderful opportunity to postpone all of the planned MM schemes for 5 years and really assess how they perform in safety terms. I know that there are great claims of better safety record and better speeds etc on the couple so far, but this is a classic politician exercise of clutching at money-saving straws even though proper evaluation and trials have not been done for long enough to make a properly informed decision on the efficacy of their longterm safety. Who on earth in the HA really believes that it is somehow ok for motorways to no longer have continous hard shoulders when it is clear for all to see that such motorways are the safest form of road in the country and that one of the principal features helping them to achieve that are hard shoulders.

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