Work to start on £18m congestion busting schemes

Highways Reporters

The Highways Agency is starting work on eight road schemes as the first stage of a £217m programme of improvements to England’s motorways and major A roads.

Roads Minister Mike Penning confirmed today that planning and design work will start this year on eight ‘pinch point’ improvement schemes worth £18.5m.

The schemes going ahead are:

* M1 Junction 21;
* A38 Markeaton Roundabout
* A38 Little Eaton roundabout;
* A46 Cold Ashton roundabout
* A30 Newtown roundabout
* A1033 northern gateway roundabout;
* M40 junction 9/A34 Wendlebury
* M60 Junction 24.

These improvement schemes are the first stage of the Pinch Point Programme which forms part of the UK Government's growth initiative.

Funds have been allocated to the Highways Agency to undertake focused improvements to the strategic road network. Details of the main programme of pinch point schemes will be announced later this year.

Penning said: "The pinch point improvements overall will inject more than £200m of vital investment across the strategic road network.

"The programme provides smaller scale improvements that can deliver big returns by easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for road users, including hauliers and commuters. This will boost local economies and drive economic growth."

The Highways Agency will start work on the following eight projects in 2012-13:

M1 Junction 21 / M69, Leicester - To reduce congestion especially in the morning and peak delays, we will add an extra lane on the southbound exit slip road of the M1. An additional lane is also being added to the M69 mainline as you exit from the roundabout.

A38 Markeaton Roundabout, Interim Improvements, Derby - To reduce the congestion and queuing at this junction due to inefficient operation of the junction, we will install some signals at the junction and widen the southbound lane of the A38 as it approaches the junction along with the southbound section of the roundabout itself.

A38 Little Eaton Roundabout, Interim Improvements, Derby - To reduce the congestion caused by heavy traffic flows we will convert existing traffic signals to run full-time and widen the A38 northbound lanes as they approach the junction along with the northbound section of the roundabout. We will widen the A61 where it approaches and also leaves the junction. The B6179 arm will be slightly moved so that it is aligned with the enhanced junction.

A30 Newtown Roundabout, Penzance - To reduce delays for westbound traffic, we will provide two narrow traffic lanes for approx 50 metres on the westbound A30 approach to the roundabout. We will also widen the traffic lanes to provide full two-lane entry.

A1033 Northern Gateway, Kingston-Upon-Hull - To reduce the extensive congestion during peak periods we will improve access and reduce congestion at the King George Dock and Ferry Terminal at the Port of Hull. This involves the provision of traffic signals on the A1033 approaches to the roundabout and provision of a dedicated lane for port-bound traffic.

M60 Junction 24 / Denton Roundabout, Denton, Tameside - We will relieve queuing at the roundabout by providing the ability to use a dedicated left turn lane for traffic going towards Manchester off the A57 and improving the M60 off-slip approaches so more traffic can be accommodated. In addition, we will reposition traffic signals to better effect and improve signing and road markings.

A34/M40 Junction 9 (Wendlebury) Improvement, Bicester - We will widen the northbound A34 approach to reduce queuing, install signals on the northbound node to improve capacity and allow greater control of traffic joining the M40 northbound and widen the A41 exit to allow all 3 lanes on the circulator carriageway to exit onto the A41.

A46 Cold Ashton Roundabout Improvement, South Gloucestershire - To resolve significant capacity issues and severe recurrent congestion, the scheme involves widening the A46 and A420 approaches to Cold Ashton roundabout and providing an additional lane so that two lanes circulate the roundabout.
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