Local Roads to Get £350m Funding Boost

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced the availability of new funding which will bring benefits to transport operators and local road users around the country.

According to the Guardian, the cash was originally meant for motorways and major A-roads managed by Highways England, but this announcement diverts some of it so that it can be spent on roads run by local authorities.

There are 76 projects from across the country awarded funding totalling £244 million, with some of that investment aiming to address key local traffic ‘pinch points’. An additional £101.3 million will pay for 2 new major roads in Middlewich, Cheshire, and Worcester in the Midlands.

“This government is taking the big decisions for Britain’s future and investing a record £23 billion on our roads to increase capacity and improve journeys. These schemes will provide much needed upgrades to essential local roads up and down the country, cutting congestion, improving safety and shortening journey times for drivers. They will also help boost regional economic growth by unlocking jobs and supporting vital new housing development,” said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

The funding covers a huge range of projects, including improvements on the A66 in Darlington and a major road improvement scheme in Worcester with £54.5 million government funding to complete a series of upgrades to the Worcester Southern Relief Road, including a new carriageway alongside the existing Carrington Bridge.

Another £46.8 million funding in Middlewich will pay for the Eastern Bypass scheme which will cut congestion.

Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “As we know, traffic congestion costs the economy billions of pounds each year as a result of traffic delays and the financial cost to road haulage operators is massive. Improvements to the local road network are of course welcome, in particular tackling the many instances of traffic ‘pinch points’. These road expansion plans will undoubtedly improve the UK’s road network, but the benefits will only be realised if the proposed works are completed on time and of course within budget.”

Funding for all these schemes is being provided from the National Productivity Investment Fund and the Large Local Majors fund.

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