Highways England unveils £27bn investment plan to improve road network

WCN Editorial Team 24 Aug 2020 EUROPE TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

Highways England in the UK has unveiled plans for £27.4bn ($35.9bn) investment in the strategic road network.

Approximately £14bn ($18.3bn) is planned to be invested in the projects that aim to improve the quality, capacity and safety of the motorways and major A roads.

Additionally, Highways England will invest approximately £11bn ($14.4bn) for repairing and replacing the network of roads.

Highways England CEO 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.”

The development plan is expected to create 64,000 jobs during the construction phase, boosting the nation’s economy.

Highways England said that the plan will also deliver the government’s second Road Investment Strategy with more than 50 upgrades.

As part of the plan, the government agency will invest £1bn ($1.3bn) to improve the roads and enhance access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

In addition to saving the biodiversity, the project would help in reducing noise pollution generated near houses and develop 30 schemes for potential construction after 2025.

Highways England plans to build a new road and tunnel under the Thames between Essex and Kent in order to increase connectivity within the country while reducing the travel time between the Channel ports.

The agency will also upgrade the A66 to improve connections between ports in Scotland and Northern Ireland and at Hull and Felixstowe in England as well as a major direct route between the South East and South West.

Ageing concrete sections on the A14, M5, M18, M20, M42, M54 and M56 are also planned to be replaced.

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Aerial view of A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon in the UK. (Credit: Crown copyright/gov.uk)

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