Highways England has today unveiled the details of plans for £27.4 billion investment in the strategic road network across the country.
August 21, 2020, Highways England will deliver £14 billion of projects improving the quality, capacity and safety of the motorways and major A roads that have helped keep the country going during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Almost £11 billion will go into improving everyday journeys by repairing and replacing parts of the network, largely built in the 1960s and 70s.
In a boost to the nation’s recovery, Highways England said its plans would help support 64,000 construction industry jobs.
And it pointed to its recent opening of the £1.4 billion projects on the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon, which was delivered eight months ahead of schedule and on budget.
Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan said:
Our network is a vital part of everyone’s life. It has served the country well during the pandemic, keeping supermarket shelves stocked and enabling key workers to get where they need to be.
Over the next five years, we will increase capacity where it is most needed and continue to upgrade more of the network which has suffered from decades of under-investment.
We now have a strong track record of delivering new schemes and operating the network for the benefit of our customers and the communities we serve. The plan we’re launching today will protect and create jobs to aid the nation’s recovery, and make journeys faster and more reliable for freight and road users.
Over the past five years, Highways England has completed 36 major improvement schemes, including adding additional capacity on the M20 in Kent, the M6 in the Midlands and in Cheshire. Around 20 of the projects were opened ahead of schedule.
It has also completed 160 cycling improvements, reduced flooding at 260 locations, reduced noise at more than 1,170 locations and improved air quality at 101 locations, and its road improvements have helped unlock the building of 44,000 houses and the creation of 45,000 jobs.