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Roads minister promises an extra 900 miles of lane capacity on strategic highway network by 2021 mainly by smart motorways and selective widening

The Roads Minister John Hayes today announced that the Government’s promised £24 billion road building programme arising from its Action for roads command paper of July 2013, will result in an extra 900 miles of lane capacity on the strategic highway network by 2021 – a third more than was provided in the previous decade.

The £24 billion investment – the biggest since the 1970s – will see annual funding for enhancements to motorways and major A roads triple over the next 6 years. Investment includes more than £9 billion on maintenance, £6 billion of which will be spent on resurfacing 3,000 miles of the strategic road network.

Roads Minister John Hayes said, “we are … delivering around 35% more capacity on our roads than was delivered in the 9 years up to 2010. This extra capacity will be achieved mainly by the use of smart motorways and selective widening to minimise the environmental impact.”

The period 2001 to 2010 saw construction of 574 lane miles. The government has committed to 60 new road schemes, the majority of which will be completed by 2021, subject to value for money and deliverability. This will provide 962 miles of new road.

The minister also announced that more road schemes are expected to be added to the programme following the 2014 Autumn Statement, which could include solutions identified as part of 6 feasibility studies that are looking at dealing with some of the most notorious and long-standing hotspots on England’s roads, including the A303 in the south west and the A47 in the east of England.


Highways Agency is to be changed into a government-owned company

The Highways Agency is to be changed into a government-owned company, of which the Transport Secretary is to be the single shareholder, is intended to boost efficiency with the supply chain and will be more accountable to Parliament and road users.

The Department for Transport said it will later this year publish a long-term roads investment strategy, setting out its vision for the new highways company that will include a new investment plan and set out performance requirements for the roads network.


Transport projects dominate UK Government Construction Pipeline, says KPMG report

Analysis of the UK Government’s Construction Pipeline published this month by KPMG found that transport projects dominate construction spend at £66.2bn, accounting for over half of the total pipeline value.

The report, UK Government Construction Pipeline - KPMG Analysis, looks at the £116bn forecast spend by central and local government across 1,886 projects in three spend periods: 2014-16, 2016-20, and 2020 and beyond. The pipeline reveals:

Transport projects dominate the pipeline at £66.2bn, accounting for 57% of the total pipeline value. This includes the cost of HS2 Phase 1 and Highways Agency schemes.

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