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UK Roads Network £15 Billion Master Plan

By raccars Published

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The government has unveiled details of its new £15 billion roads network investment scheme, which involves the building and upgrading of 1,300 road miles. The programme is broken down into 100 separate projects.

Among the key areas for improvement are the addition of dual carriageways to the length of the A303, including the construction of a new 1.8 mile tunnel to relieve the famous bottleneck at Stonehenge, and the A358, both gateways to the South East. Drivers will then have access to dual carriageways all the way from London to 15 miles from Land's End.

At least a third of junctions on the M25 will be upgraded to relieve some of the traffic congestion suffered by commuters to and from the capital. £290 million will be spent on the A1, to make it dual carriageway from London all the way to Ellingham, within 25 miles of the border with Scotland. The North West will also see the M62 become a 'smart motorway,' all the way from Leeds to Manchester and the first investment in Pennine routes since 1971.

Upgrading the links to 12 key trading gateways is another important part of the scheme, such as the Port of Liverpool. The Birmingham area will also benefit, with upgrades to connections to the M42 East of the city, which includes the airport, the National Exhibition Centre and the new station for High Speed 2.

Further south, £350 million has been earmarked for the A27 coast road, to ease congestion around Lewes, Worthing and Arundel. Travellers to Norfolk will see improvements in access to the A1 and A11 and new dual carriageway sections are added to the A47.

There is also a plan to install electric car charging points at 20 mile intervals along key routes, to encourage the uptake of environmentally friendly vehicles.

While Margaret Thatcher launched a similar scheme called 'Roads for Prosperity' in 1989, the programme was largely discontinued after her demise as the result of spending cuts and environmental protests, meaning the new plan is the biggest investment into British roads for half a century. Danny Alexander, Treasury Chief Secretary, claims the scheme is the necessary result of decades of underinvestment which has had a detrimental effect upon economic growth in Britain. To make sure future Parliaments cannot discontinue the scheme, there have been changes in the way the Highways Agency is run.

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