Highways England has announced the latest allocation from its £100m Growth and Housing Fund – established to support road improvements needed for local housing and commercial developments.
The government-owned company has allocated £16.6m towards five schemes across Wigan, Greater Manchester, Marlow in Buckinghamshire, Newton in Nottinghamshire, Cumbria and Plymouth.
Private sector developers and local public sector partners will also make financial contributions to the projects, which are worth just over £67m in total.
An estimated 4,300 jobs and over 1,700 homes could be created on the back of the schemes.
Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: ‘Each of these improvements will ensure England’s strategic road network continues to make a valuable contribution to the prosperity of our country. We will continue to use our Growth and Housing Fund, working with a range of local stakeholders to unlock further development sites around the country.’
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘These upgrades from Highways England will benefit the regions, giving a boost to businesses and better access to the jobs and homes that people want.’
Highways England’s Growth and Housing Fund has so far made contributions of over £77m on 21 improvement projects and could be seen as a template for major road network funding (MRN).
Announcing the plans for the MRN, ministers suggested that funding could be allocated based on commercial and housing considerations as well as collaboration with Highways England the strategic road network (SRN).
Investment criteria used to assess MRN schemes will be based on the following objectives:
- Reducing congestion
- Supporting economic growth and regional rebalancing
- Supporting housing delivery
- Supporting all road users
- Supporting the SRN
The five latest schemes to be supported by the Growth and Housing Fund are:
A404/A4155 Westhorpe Interchange improvements, Buckinghamshire
The scheme aims to create hundreds of jobs at the Globe Business Park and enable over 22,000 square metres of vacant space to be brought to life. In total, the project will receive funding of £1.75m which is being made up of £1.18m from the Growth and Housing Fund, £500,000 private finding and an additional £63,000 provided by the local enterprise partnership. Work on the scheme is expected to commence late 2018/spring 2019.
M58 Wigan Link Road (Greater Manchester)
This package of work is designed to improve accessibility in the area, help to reduce congestion and create smoother journeys for drivers. The scheme will also unlock the Pemberton Park development site and 250 new homes and support the delivery of a further 170 homes and 2,600 jobs at the neighbouring ‘Bell Site’.
The £23.6m package of work will be funded by £5m from the Growth and Housing Fund, a public funding contribution from Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, £10.9m from the Greater Manchester growth deal and £3.1m provided by private developers. The site is expected to be open to traffic during winter 2020.
A46 RAF Newton (Nottingham)
Allocated £2.9m from the Growth and Housing Fund, a new link bridge over the A46 will be installed connecting the former RAF Newton site with transport links and public amenity services in central Bingham. The scheme will also receive £970,000 of private funding and will unlock potentially up to 550 local homes as well as deliver substantial benefits to improve safety and conditions for vulnerable road users.
A590 Cross-a-moor (Cumbria)
This scheme will see an upgrade of the existing junction at Cross-a-Moor, Cumbria into a four arm roundabout which will provide a number of key local development sites with direct access to the A590 trunk road. The £5.05 million scheme has been allocated £3.05 million from the Growth and Housing Fund, £2.03 million in third party match funding which will include £1.73 million of private funding and a contribution from South Lakeland District Council. The scheme will also unlock 106 local homes, and three further sites with the potential to deliver 895 new homes In the future.
Forder Valley Link Road (Plymouth)
This £37.84 million package of works includes the construction of the Forder Valley Link Road which will connect the A386 at Derriford to the A38 to the east of the city. Allocated £4,470,000 from the Growth and Housing Fund, the link road will form part of a range of transport interventions that will help to accommodate a number of developments and will unlock up to 651 homes, and 1,227 additional jobs. The scheme will also be funded by a private match of £6.4m. The scheme is fully supported by both the local authority and the LEP (local enterprise partnership, with a substantial £22.55m of other public (LEP) funding also being brought forward to enable the scheme to progress.