Department for Transport
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Kelly announces £6bn motorway improvements

Kelly announces £6bn motorway improvements

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (111) issued by The Government News Network on 16 July 2008

Ruth Kelly, Transport Secretary, today announced a £6 billion investment package to improve and make better use of England's motorways and other key roads. She also published the Command Paper 'Roads - Delivering Choice and Reliability' setting out more detail on her innovative plans to tackle congestion, both on strategic routes and in our towns and cities.

This will fund a mix of techniques to get the most out of the existing network, such as opening the hard shoulder to traffic, taking forward the Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study which identified almost 500 lane miles of motorway with the potential for hard shoulder running.

Ruth Kelly said:

"I am determined to get the best from our road network so that motorists have reliable journey times on roads that are safe and well-managed. The greatest barrier to this is congestion. It is frustrating and has serious consequences for the economy and the environment.

"To achieve this we need a smarter programme of investment. The £6 billion I am announcing today will allow us to develop and implement more innovative approaches to the way we use our major roads. This includes measures like opening the hard shoulder when traffic is at its heaviest, alongside some conventional widening where that makes best sense.

"Where we add new capacity through measures like this I am also interested to see what role car share or tolled lanes could play in helping traffic flow more smoothly - giving motorists a choice about how they make their journeys."

New funding has also been announced for our biggest towns and cities, recognising that 80% of congestion is currently in urban areas. This sees eight areas - Bristol, Greater Manchester, Leicester, London, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands - benefiting from the first allocation of the performance-based £60m Urban Congestion Performance Fund.

Leeds has also won pump-priming funding to join those local authorities looking at tackling congestion through public transport improvements combined with local congestion charging. Cambridgeshire and Reading also receive further pump-priming funds to carry on developing their congestion-busting plans.

Ruth Kelly added:

"The majority of congestion is in our towns and cities, where the answer cannot be building new roads. That is why I will continue to support councils who want to investigate whether radical packages, which include public transport improvements combined with local congestion charging, would be the right solution for them."

Today's announcement includes:

- Up to £6bn in funding for improvements to strategic national roads in the period up to 2014 to cut congestion, support economic growth and improve road safety.

- Further details of how the hard shoulder could be used to provide extra space on the motorway network. We are looking in particular at sections of the motorway network previously planned for widening, and at some new locations including the M3 and M4 approaches to London, the M4 and M5 around Bristol and the M3 and M27 around Southampton. We are also considering how to make best use of the extra capacity, including looking at successful examples of dedicated or tolled lane use in America and hard-shoulder running in Europe.

- Revised cost estimates for the Highways Agency Major Roads Programme, including regional priorities.

- Pump priming funding for Cambridgeshire, Reading and Leeds through the up to £200m a year Transport Innovation Fund to allow them to investigate how they can manage congestion in innovative ways.

- The first tranche of performance-based funding from the £60m Urban Congestion Performance Fund. The first performance payments, totalling £6 million, will be shared between Bristol, Greater Manchester, Leicester, London, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands.

- An additional £8m to help local authorities manage their transport assets more effectively.

Notes to Editors

1. The Command Paper 'Roads - Delivering Choice and Reliability' is available on the DfT website

2. £6bn is being made available for Highways Agency major projects on the national strategic roads network from 2008/09 to 2013/14. This funding will be used to complete the delivery of those schemes already in construction as laid out below:

Scheme                 Type of Scheme       Location
      A1 Bramham to Wetherby Upgrading trunk road Yorkshire, between Leeds
                             to motorway standard and York
      M1 Junctions 6a-10     Motorway widening    Hertfordshire
      M1 Junctions 25-28     Motorway widening    Nottinghamshire
      M6 Carlisle to         Upgrading trunk road Cumbria
      Guardsmill             to motorway standard
      A14 Haughley New St to Trunk road widening  Suffolk Stowmarket
      M25 Junctions 1b-3     Motorway widening    Kent
      M40 Junction 15        Junction improvement Warwickshire
      (Longbridge Roundabout)
      M62 Junction 6         Junction improvement Liverpool
      A5117 / A550 Deeside   Junction improvement Cheshire Park Junction 

3. It will also allow new schemes to enter construction over the next three years. These include:

* upgrading of the A1 to motorway standard between Dishforth and Barton

* widening the M25 between Junctions 16 and 23 and Junctions 27 and 30

* widening the A14 between Ellington and Fen Ditton

* implementing hard shoulder running on the M6 around Birmingham.

4. The funding will also allow a significant proportion of the schemes listed for consideration below to enter construction before 2014. Following the Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study published in March 2008 the Department and the Highways Agency have established a programme to investigate in detail deploying hard shoulder running more widely. This work is looking at the costs, benefits and deliverability of replacing existing planned motorway widenings with hard shoulder running, as well as deploying hard shoulder running on other areas of the network identified in the Feasibility Study. This work is due to be complete by the end of the year. Schemes being considered for hard shoulder running to enter construction before 2014 are:

Schemes being considered for hard shoulder running

M1 Junctions 10-13                M1 J13-19 (Bedfordshire/
      (Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire)      Buckinghamshire/Northamptonshire)
      M1 Junctions 21-30 (Phase 2)      M1 Junctions 30-31 (Sheffield)
      M1 Junctions 32-34 (Sheffield)    M1 Junctions 34-37 (Yorkshire)
      M1 Junctions 37-39 (Yorkshire)    M1 Junctions 39-42 (Wakefield)
      M3 / M4 approaching M25 (West     M4 / M5 around Bristol London)
      M5 / M6 around Birmingham         M6 Junctions 11a-19 (Birmingham)
      M6 / M60 / M62 / M56 around       M20 J3-5 (Maidstone) Manchester
      M23 J8-10 (Gatwick)               M25 Junctions 5-7 (Kent/Surrey)
      M25 Junctions 23-27               M27 / M3 around Southampton
      (Hertfordshire)                   (Hampshire) M62 Junctions 25-30

5. We are also considering the following junction improvement schemes to enter construction before 2014:

* M1 J19 / M6 the junction of the M1, M6 and A14 in the East Midlands
* M20 J10a around Ashford in Kent
* M25 J30 near the Lakeside shopping centre, Essex
* M40 J9 near Oxford

We are also considering capacity enhancement on the A14 around Kettering and a dedicated lane from the M1 J31-32 to the M18 to enter construction before 2014.

6. The Department today published cost estimates for the Highways Agency Major Roads Programme. Since the Nichols Review last year, the Highways Agency has made some important changes to its management of the roads programme. These changes are outlined in the Command Paper. The revised cost estimates for regional schemes will help the regions plan their programmes more effectively over the coming Regional Funding Allocation period. The estimates are available on the DfT website

7. It was announced in 2006 that up to £60 million will be available over four years through the Urban Congestion Performance Fund to encourage and incentivise local authorities in the 10 largest urban areas to outperform their own 2010-11 congestion targets. The first tranche allocated today includes:

Urban Area       Sum to be paid in 2008/09 Sum to be paid in 2009/10
      Bristol          £206,500                  £82,500
      Greater          £627,000                  £251,000 Manchester
      Leicester        £198,500                  £79,500
      LondonMerseyside £1,500,000£428,000        £600,000
      South Yorkshire  £401,000                  £160,500
      Tyne & Wear      £336,000                  £134,500
      West Midlands    £585,000                  £234,000
      Total            £4,282,000                £1,713,000 

There will be four further tranches of performance-based payments after the tranche announced today. All of the areas will be eligible for payments in each of these tranches.

8. In March this year we announced the extension of pump priming funding for local authorities to develop Transport Innovation Fund proposals. Today we announced that, following a successful bid, Leeds will be receiving pump priming funding, while Cambridgeshire and Reading will receive further pump priming funding. Further funding for the West of England Partnership (covering the Greater Bristol area) was announced in April.

9. The Ministerial Statement today also reports the progress being made with the Demonstrations Project, which will trial the technology and processes that could underpin congestion charging. The Department for Transport will today tell all those companies who formally expressed an interest in participating in the Project the names of the successful bidders. The trials are due to start in the Autumn.

10. The Department announced on 23 January that £15m would be made available to local highway authorities to help them develop Transport Asset Management Plans so as to manage their assets more effectively and improve the service they offer the public. We are today increasing that funding to £23m and will shortly write to authorities to explain how they can apply for an allocation from this funding.

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