Local roads and safety receive more cash

Approval has been granted for the Lincoln eastern bypass and construction will begin next year, the Transport Secretary said on Monday. Chris Grayling made the announcement while outlining how £1.3Bn of new roads funding will be made over the course of this Parliament, including £1.1Bn for local road improvements.

He also pledged funding worth £175M to improve safety on local roads. The Department for Transport will be inviting proposals from local authorities responsible for the 50 highest risk roads identified by the Road Safety Foundation.

Chris Grayling has also committed funding to develop business cases for six transport schemes: the Sheffield city region innovation corridor, Melton Mowbray eastern distributor road, a New Tees Crossing, dualling of the A500 in Cheshire, the South Coventry Link Road and an extension to Manchester’s Metrolink towards terminal two at the city’s airport.

“We are investing record amounts in improving our roads across the country,” the Transport Secretary said. “The schemes I am announcing are focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future.”

Lincoln’s eastern bypass will link the A158 Wragby Road roundabout to the A15 at Bracebridge Heath, a distance of 7.5km. The £99M scheme has been awarded £50M of funding from the Government and works will be carried out by Carillion Construction. Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for highways Richard Davies said: “We will soon be in a position where we can finally get building. The bypass will take a lot of pressure off the roads in and around Lincoln. It will mean less congestion, better air quality and reduced journey times. It will also pave the way for the housing and economic developments that are vital for the county’s future prosperity.”

Chris Grayling’s confirmation on Monday as to where the £1.3Bn of roads funding will be spent was welcomed by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association. “We have long argued that investment in roads infrastructure is vital if we are to maintain our position as a great place to do business and ensure economic growth is spread across the UK,” said head of external affairs Marie-Claude Hemming. “The challenge is now to get spades in the ground as quickly as possible.”

Government’s pledge of £175M to improve local road safety was backed by the Road Safety Foundation. “We welcome this firm commitment to tackle high risk roads,” a spokesman said. “Infrastructure safety measures are quick to implement, can be done anywhere in the country and are certain to deliver.”

The RAC Foundation’s director Steve Gooding commented: “It is very welcome that public money will be available for those councils who come up with credible plans for improving the 50 most risky roads.”