Highways England’s commitment to improving the strategic road network has moved forward once again, with progress announced on a motorway and major A-road, both servicing England.
Major improvements on the M2 were unveiled yesterday by Highways England.
This key route links London with Rochester and Faversham with the Port of Dover and, unsurprisingly, suffers from heavy congestion every day.
A public consultation is currently underway for anybody who wants to put any questions to the project team, who will add capacity for those commuters using junction 5 of the M2.
The project will also result in support for development in Kent and the Thames Estuary corridor.
Improvements will see an enlarged roundabout, a new through route for A249 traffic, while dedicated left turn filter lanes will be included for traffic travelling between the M2 and A249.
Funded by the government’s £15 billion Roads Investment Strategy, construction on this project could start in 2020 but before this, responses to the consultation will be taken into account before a preferred route is announced.
Neil Andrew, Highways England Senior Project Manager, explained the benefits of this project, with safety high on the agenda.
“The Stockbury junction provides a vital interchange between the M2 and A249 and is heavily congested during peak periods each day.
“This junction is currently one of hte top 50 national casualty locations on England’s strategic road network, and we are consulting on the proposals to improve the junction which will not only improve safety, but also help to boost the economy and support development of homes and jobs in the local area.”
Elsewhere, following a public consultation, Highways England has decided upon the best way to upgrade a 13-mile stretch of the A1 in Northumberland.
The work will stimulate economic growth in the region by improving journey times and providing the A-road with additional capacity.
Of the three options provided, three were to widen the A1 between Morpeth and Felton and one to widen the road between Alnwick and Ellingham.
Highways England has given the green light to the two options which received the most votes in the public consultation; widening the Morpeth to Felton section and Alnwick to Ellingham part of the A1.
The former will see a new carriageway constructed while the latter will involve upgrade and widening work.
Further consultation will be undertaken before construction starts on the £290 million scheme in two years’ time.
Announcements on these improvements follows hot on the heels of the announcement that the Manchester smart motorway will begin its phased opening this autumn.