Motorway roadworksHighways England has had another look at the plans for its headline £15 billion Road Investment Strategy (RIS) – and is now fast-tracking 10 schemes to reduce congestion and delays.

The multi-billion-pound scheme has already been running for more than two years, with 18 schemes completed. Now, revised plans will bring forward several schemes, in order to ensure several roadbuilding schemes do not take place in the same time, thus risking unnecessary extra traffic.

The improvement schemes being fast-tracked are:

  • A19 Testos
  • A19 Downhill Lane
  • M56 jct 6-8 smart motorway
  • M6 jct 21a-26 smart motorway
  • M6 jct 22 upgrade
  • M6 jct 10 upgrade
  • A500 Etruria
  • M4 Heathrow sliproads
  • A47 Acle Straight
  • A47 and A12 junction enhancement

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan called the update “a sensible and responsible way to deliver major national investment in road infrastructure. It will keep our roads moving, deliver a lasting legacy for the country and ensure best value for money for the taxpayer”.

16 schemes are also being rescheduled, which Highways England promises will “smooth the timing and frequency of roadworks”:

  • A5 Dodwells to Longshoot widening
  • M3 jct 9 improvement
  • A31 Ringwood
  • M27 jct 4-11
  • A47 North Tuttenham to Easton
  • A47 Blofield to North Burlingham dualling
  • M25 jct 25 improvement
  • M25 jct 28 improvement
  • A1 Birtley to Coal House
  • M60 jct 24-27 and jct 1-4 smart motorway
  • A47/A11 Thickthorn
  • A47 Wansford to Sutton
  • A47 Guyhirn junction
  • A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening
  • M25 jct 10/A3 Wisley interchange
  • M25 jct 10-16

However, it’s not a green light for all schemes. Following a review, six schemes have been paused “for further review and consideration as part of future RIS planning process”. They are:

  • A1 and A19 technology enhancements
  • M11 jct 8-14 technology upgrade
  • A12 technology upgrade
  • M53 jct 5-11 smart motorway
  • A14 junction 10a
  • M62/M606 Chain Bar

Highways England adds that 190 lane miles of road capacity has already been added through the £15 billion Road Investment Strategy initiative – which is described as “the biggest road upgrade plan for a generation”.

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