Highways England treads water with £218m East spend

14/06/2021
Chris Ames

Highways England has announced maintenance works totalling £218m over the next year in the East of England.

It said last year’s essential maintenance programme in the region saw it spend £117m on 123 road renewal and maintenance projects. Over the past 12 months, it resurfaced 203 lane miles of motorways and major A roads, using 221,177 tonnes of resurfacing material.

‘A further 82,000 road studs were laid to help light the way for divers,’ Highways England said.

In addition, 335 traffic signs were erected, 95 bridge joins (sic) installed, and 111 lighting improvements made.’

In total, Highways England will spend £218m on more than 100 schemes across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Works include road resurfacing, bridge joint replacements, the creation of cycle lanes, improved signage and landscaping.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said the maintenance works are on top of plans for major dualling and widening schemes on roads such as the A47 and A12, which will begin construction over the next two to three years, and would ‘ensure millions of motorists and road-users in the East of England have access to better journeys’.

Highways England regional director Martin Fellows put the works in a more prosaic context.

He said: ‘Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads every day for work journeys, home deliveries and the movement of the goods and services, so it’s essential we keep them in a good condition to ensure safety and reliability.’

The government-owned company said it will begin work on its comprehensive maintenance programme in the coming weeks, with schemes including:

  • A12 junctions 15-18 and Junction 25 – concrete repairs and renewals, road markings, studs and kerbs
  • A11 Tuttles to Thickthorn - concrete renewals, studs and road markings
  • A120 Crown Interchange - resurfacing
  • A14 junction 39 (Higham) to junction 42 (Westley) - resurfacing, studs, kerbs, road markings, restraint systems, traffic signs, bridge joints
  • A414 M1 J7 (Park St Roundabout, St Albans) – resurfacing, bridge joints, traffic signs, road markings and studs
  • A47 Longthorpe footbridge replacement – replacing bridge bearings

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