The roads minister and agency chiefs spelled out plans to an industry meeting in Yeovil yesterday as part of an ongoing roadshow around the country to sell the Government’s road investment strategy.
Roads minister Andrew Jones said: “We’re upgrading key roads like the A303 and A30 and building a new junction on the M49 near Bristol.
“This will create a new strategic corridor to the South West and complete the dual carriageway into Cornwall so that hardworking families can have better access to jobs, shops and leisure facilities.”
Six major projects
- a new junction on the M49 at Avonmouth
- improvements to the M5 J23 at Bridgwater
- an upgrade to an 8.7 mile section of single carriageway on the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross roundabouts
- development of a scheme on the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down route that passes Stonehenge, including building a tunnel
- dualling the A303 between Sparkford and IIchester
- dualling the A358 from the M5 at Taunton to A303 at Southfields
- investigations into the benefits of connecting the two dual carriageway sections of the A417 near Birdlip, Gloucestershire
Three schemes together take the first steps towards building an expressway between the M3 and the South West.
On the A303 around Stonehenge, Highways England plans a scheme between Amesbury to Berwick Down, including a tunnel to improve journey time and improve the setting of the World Heritage Site.
It will also dual the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester and the A358 between the M5 at Taunton and A303 at Southfields.
The agency also revealed it is working closely with Cornwall Council to deliver more than eight miles of new dual carriageway on the A30 between Carland Cross and Chiverton Cross roundabouts.
This will support local plans to build over 22,000 homes and more than 11,000 jobs.
Other improvements include a major improvement to junction 23 of the M5 Bridgwater to support proposals for around 5,000 new homes and create more than 4,400 new jobs.
The work will also be key to the construction and ongoing success of the new power station planned at Hinckley Point.
A new junction on the M49 at Avonmouth will release the potential for a further 8,000 jobs in the Severnside and Avonmouth area.
Also Highways England will consider the benefits of connecting two dual carriageway sections of the A417 near Birdlip, Gloucestershire to present the options around 2020.
Across the South West, a further £90m will be invested during 2015/16 to resurface roads, repair and renew structures like bridges and viaducts; and improve safety barriers.