Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has announced that almost 10,000 construction jobs will be created next year as a result of more than £1.9 billion of investment in Britain’s roads.
The total investment in 209 schemes is £4.3 billion, £1.9 billion of which will be spent in 2014 alone – more than twice the amount spent in 2013.
These road programmes – which will either start or be completed in 2014 – are estimated to boost the economy by over £18.8bn and are part of a £100bn package of investment in Britain’s infrastructure over the next seven years; the largest programme of investment since the 1970s.
The roads programme is just one part of the Government’s drive to prioritise investment in projects that provide an economic boost, and will help create a high-performance road network that can cope with the expected 43% increase in traffic by 2040.
Goodwill (pictured) said: “Roads are the lifeblood that keeps our economy going – they create jobs and help get products to markets. This Government is committed to delivering the modern infrastructure we need to compete in the global race, investing across the board to cut congestion and reduce journey times in roads, rail and local transport.
“We are already seeing massive improvements being made to our major roads and motorways. In 2014 the public will see even greater improvements right across the country.”
Over half of the 209 schemes are due for completion next year. This will be followed in 2015 by an even larger programme of improvement and investment on major roads, with spending rising to £3bn a year by 2020.
The Government’s £28bn commitment as part of the 2013 Spending Review will deliver extra capacity to the UK’s busiest motorways, along with 52 major road projects funded and delivered between this parliament and 2020/21.
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton added: “The Government is delivering the infrastructure the UK needs to have a modern, successful economy. All eight roads schemes promised under this Government have been delivered ahead of schedule, and at the Spending Round we set out the most ambitious programme of investment since the 1970s.
“We’re prioritising the projects that will drive forward growth and next year 10,000 jobs will be created as a result, proving that this vital investment will bring benefits to people across the country.”
Those schemes under construction in 2014 include: 178 “pinch point” schemes that tackle local bottlenecks on our roads, and 31 “major schemes” to dramatically improve key networks.
Schemes that are due to start or complete in 2014 also include: M4 J19-20 and M6 J5-8 near Birmingham, A11 Fiveways to Thetford near Norwich, M25 J23-27, A45/A46 Tollbar End and M1 J19 improvements in the Midlands, A23 Handcross to Warninglid near Crawley, the M3 J2-4a in the South East and the A1 Leeming to Barton in the North of England.
Earlier this year the Department for Transport published ‘Action for Roads’ a command paper which set out the long-term vision for the road network.
The reforms will see the Highways Agency turned into a Government-owned company, helping to improve efficiency and reduce running costs. Road users are set to benefit from a more effective road network and will have a greater say in how their roads operate, with taxpayers expected to benefit from savings of at least £2.6 billion over the next 10 years.
A consultation on the proposed changes to the Highways Agency is now open here.