Multi-million-pound road improvements to unlock homes and jobs

A series of multi-million-pound road upgrades just announced by Highways England will help create more than 4,300 jobs and over 1,700 homes for people across England. 

The improvements, worth just over £67m in total, will mean opportunities in Wigan, Greater Manchester, Marlow in Buckinghamshire, Newton in Nottinghamshire, Cumbria and Plymouth.

Highways England is making a £16.6m contribution towards the schemes from its Growth and Housing Fund, alongside private sector developer contributions and other public funding making up the rest.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: “Each of these improvements will ensure England’s strategic road network continues to make a valuable contribution to the prosperity of our country. We will continue to use our Growth and Housing Fund, working with a range of local stakeholders to unlock further development sites around the country.”

The designated £100m fund was set up as part of the government’s £15bn investment in roads and provides financial contributions towards the cost of road improvements needed for new developments that provide new jobs and much needed homes.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “Transport investment is crucial to a strong and resilient economy - that’s why we are making the biggest investment in roads in a generation, spending £23bn across the country to improve journeys for motorists. These upgrades from Highways England will benefit the regions, giving a boost to businesses and better access to the jobs and homes that people want.”

The five schemes announced are as follows:

A404/A4155 Westhorpe Interchange improvements, Buckinghamshire
The scheme will create the opportunity for up to 560 jobs at the Globe Business Park and enable over 22,000 sqm of vacant space that would be brought back to life and used by businesses. The project will receive funding of £1.75m which is being made up of £1.18m from the Growth and Housing Fund, £500,000 private finding and an additional £63,000 provided by the local enterprise partnership. Work is expected to commence late 2018/spring 2019.

M58 Wigan Link Road (Greater Manchester)
This package of work is designed to improve accessibility in the area, help to reduce congestion and create smoother journeys for drivers. The scheme will also unlock the Pemberton Park development site and 250 new homes and support the delivery of a further 170 homes and 2,600 jobs at the neighbouring ‘Bell Site’. The £23.6m package of work will be funded by £5m from the Growth and Housing Fund, a public funding contribution from Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, £10.9m from Greater Manchester growth deal and £3.1m provided by private developers. The site is expected to be open to traffic during winter 2020.

A46 RAF Newton (Nottingham)
Allocated £2.9m from the Growth and Housing Fund, a new link bridge over the A46 will be installed connecting the former RAF Newton site with critical transport links and public amenity services in central Bingham. The scheme will also receive £970,000 of private funding and will unlock the land to create up to 550 local homes and deliver substantial benefits to improve safety and conditions for vulnerable road users.

A590 Cross-a-moor (Cumbria)
This scheme will see an upgrade of the existing junction at Cross-a-Moor, Cumbria into a four-arm roundabout which will provide a number of key local development sites with direct access to the A590 trunk road. The £5.05m scheme has been allocated £3.05m from the Growth and Housing Fund, £2.03m in third party match funding which will include £1.73m of private funding and a contribution from South Lakeland District Council. The scheme will also unlock 106 local homes, and three further sites with the potential to deliver 895 new homes in the future.

Forder Valley Link Road (Plymouth)
This £37.84m package of works includes the construction of the Forder Valley Link Road which will connect the A386 at Derriford to the A38 to the east of the city. Allocated £4,470,000 from the Growth and Housing Fund, the link road will form part of a range of transport interventions that will help to accommodate a number of developments and will unlock up to 651 homes, and 1,227 additional jobs. The scheme will also be funded by a private match of £6.4m.The scheme is fully supported by both the local authority and the local enterprise partnership, with a substantial £22.55m of other public (LEP) funding also being brought forward to enable the scheme to progress.

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