The first three strategies, which have been developed in collaboration with local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships, will focus on the A1 west of Newcastle, the A12 in Essex and the M62 linking Manchester to Leeds.
The same approach is to be adopted across the rest of the strategic road network, with strategies being produced for all routes by spring 2014. The evidence gathered from the strategies will then:
- Allow a network-wide assessment of problems and challenges
- Provide an overview of what steps may need to be taken to address these problems and future challenges; and
- Be used to identify and prioritise potential solutions to be delivered during the next spending review period and beyond
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Our motorways and trunk roads play a vital role in the economic prosperity of this country. That is why we are implementing a smarter, more robust approach to identifying, prioritising and planning where vital investment is needed on our roads.
“I am confident the evidence that we will gather will enable us to develop longer term investment plans that better balance national and local priorities, allowing us to invest in improvements where they will have the greatest impact.”
This evidence based approach to assessing challenges and opportunities on a network-wide basis will enable the Highways Agency and the Department for Transport to prioritise operational, maintenance and if appropriate, road improvement schemes, helping to inform investment plans for the next full spending review in 2015.