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£20M road upgrades announced

Traffic congestion roads 3x2

The government has announced road improvement schemes in the South West worth up to £20M.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said that the Highways England improvements to the M4 and M5/A30 will unlock the development of more than 3,300 homes and create more than 6,000 jobs for people living in Swindon, Exeter and Weston-super-Mare.

Grayling also announced a £2.54M scheme on the A1, which aims to boost economic growth in Darlington in the North East.

“We’re undertaking the biggest modernisation programme for a generation to bring our roads into the 21st century and give people the safe and reliable journeys they expect,” said Grayling. “But these improvements will do even more – allowing the construction of thousands of homes and the creation of thousands of jobs to give a huge boost to the area’s economy.”

Highways England is investing more than £11M in the four schemes from its Growth and Housing Fund, with private sector developer contributions making up the rest.

The £100M fund is in addition to the government’s £15bn investment in roads between 2015 and 2020, and provides financial contributions towards the cost of road improvements that are needed for new developments that promise swift delivery of homes and jobs.

“We’re committed to working with local partners to deliver specific schemes such as these which will make a real difference to communities and support regional economies,” said Highways England chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan.

“The improvements we are announcing today are necessary to accommodate the extra journeys the developments will create, but without the government investment they would not have been viable. We will continue to use our Growth and Housing Fund and work with a range of local stakeholders to unlock further development sites around the country.”

Funding details:

  • £5M for improvements to the intersection of the M4 Junction 15 and the A419 near Swindon to unlock one of the largest housing and commercial developments in the country. Construction of the scheme is expected to start in 2018.
  • £4.5M to deliver the A30/M5 J29 Tithebarn Link Road, which will release three housing and employment sites at the intersection of the A30 A303 and the M5 to the east of Exeter. The scheme comprises a new cycle bridge over the M5 and a new link road connected to the M30. The scheme is supported by £4.6M in contributions from the developer and is scheduled to open in March 2019.
  • £750,000 funding to improve the northbound M5 at Junction 21, near Weston-super-Mare. This will help support the “Weston Villages” develop 6,000 new houses and 4,000 new jobs to the west of the M5 at Junction 21. Developers are investing £450,000 and the scheme is due to be completed in 2018.
  • £1.01M to improve junction 58 of the A1(M) at Darlington, unlocking two development sites which could see the construction of 1,200 homes and create 5,000 jobs. The work, which is expected to complete in 2017, will include improvements to the A68 Rotary Way roundabout and the West Park Garden Village Link Road. The scheme is due to be delivered in March 2018 and is supported by £1.46M contributions from the developer.

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