of major improvements for trunk roads and motorways was opened today
by Highways Agency chief executive Tim Matthews.
East Sussex. This will relieve the town of the congestion, danger,
noise and smell of heavy A27 through traffic.
The 2.5km bypass, a£17.2m contract, is the first of 53 major
improvements to the motorway and trunk road network in England to be
completed by the Highways Agency. It will be followed in around two
months' time by an opening of a£75m dual carriageway improvement
along the A43 north of the M40, which includes a bypass for
Silverstone. Part of the scheme will be used temporarily to access
the British Grand Prix in July. The whole scheme will be opened later
Currently, the Highways Agency has a further 20 major roads under
construction, including a£53m improvement for access to the docks in
Hull, and major bypasses for Bingley and Selby in Yorkshire.
In addition to this programme of improvements, the Agency expects to
open the new bridge across the Medway in the summer, as part of the
£124m widening of the A2 between London and the South Coast
John Spellar, minster for transport said:
'The Polegate bypass is the first in the programme of 53 improvements
over the next seven years targeted to:
ease congestion pinch-points,
relieve communities from the blight and pollution of heavy through
save scores of deaths and injuries from accidents;
increase integration with public transport
improve accessibility to promote regeneration and economic growth.
'The Polegate Bypass also links with a major improvement to the A22
built by East Sussex CC, thereby providing a new route
which will greatly assist the economic regeneration of Eastbourne.
'I am delighted that the Highways Agency and the contractors proved
able to largely overcome delays caused by last winter's atrocious wet
weather and flooding in the area, in order to bring much badly-needed
relief from congestion for drivers on the A27, and, not least, a
better environment for the residents of Polegate.
'Elsewhere, the Highways Agency is making good progress in its task
to deliver on time all the other important schemes in the
government's Targeted Programme of Improvements. These will benefit
many other local communities and all road users, resulting in less
congested roads and safer and improved environments, as a result of
our total investment of around£2 billion in the country's strategic
'Schemes will also deliver improved transport for communities, the
overall aim being to combine new public transport initiatives with
sensible road improvements, tackling congestion and pollution in an
integrated long-term approach.'
'Road improvements, though vital, are just one element of the
agency's role. The government has tasked the agency with delivering
better services for motorists, including making the most of the
latest technology such as the contract for a national traffic control
centre.' In addition to the 20 schemes already under way, the agency
has a further 33 schemes being actively pursued through various
consultative and statutory procedures.
By 2007, work will either have been completed, or be substantially
under way, on all 53 schemes. The agency is also embarking on a
separate programme of 100 smaller schemes, each under£5m, also aimed
at easing congestion and improving safety.
All schemes were, and will be, subject to NATA (New Approach To
Appraisal) to ensure that the candidates for the new programme would
be based on a balanced view of the implications of the schemes in
terms of: economics, environmental impact, safety, accessibility and
More details of the active road schemes follow.
The Targeted Programme of Improvements contains 40 schemes originally
announced in the Ten Year Plan for Transport in 1998 to which 13
others have been added subsequently.
The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for
Transport which operates the network of motorways and other main
roads in England on behalf of the secretary of state. It works
closely with other transport operators and with local authorities to
integrate the network with the rest of England's roads and other
forms of transport.
Targeted Programme of Improvement: Schemes Under Construction:
As well as of the A27 Polegate bypass, the other schemes under way
A1: Willowburn-Denwick, Northumberland -£6.2 m, 4.2km mile new
carriageway to dual existing A1, improving safety. Anticipated
A6 Great Glen bypass, Leics -£15m, 5.6km dual carriageway removing
75 per cent of through traffic, saving estimated 18 deaths and 325
fewer accidents over 30 years. Anticipated opening 2002/03.
A41 Aston Clinton bypass, Bucks -£21m 6.4km dual carriageway
removing 70 per cent of through traffic and reducing the accident
rate. Anticipated opening 2003/04.
A43 Silverstone bypass, Northants -£18m 8km dual carriageway to
remove 85 per cent of through traffic from the village, with a
predicted saving of 48 fatalities, 385 serious and 1,038 injuries
over 30 years. Anticipated opening 2002/03.
A43 Whitfield Turn - Brackley Hatch improvement, Northants -£12.9m
4.5km carriageway to remove most traffic from three small villages,
saving a predicted 20 fatalities, 171 serious and 467 slight injuries
over 30 years. Anticipated opening 2002/03.
A43 M40-B4031 improvement, Oxon/Northants -£18m 6.6km dualling to
relieve congestion and save 20 fatalities, 171 serious and 467 slight
injuries over 30 years. Anticipated opening 2002/03.
A1033 Hedon Road, Hull, improvement -£53m improvement to relieve
heavy congestion and support the port development. Anticipated
A6 Clapham by-pass, Beds -£31m 5km dual carriageway bypass removing
80 pr cent of through traffic. Anticipated opening 2003/04.
A11 Roudham Heath to Attleborough improvement, Norfolk -£27m
dualling scheme will lead a predicted saving of 43 deaths, 394
serious and 995 slight injuries over 30 years. Anticipated opening
A66 Stainburn and Great Clifton bypass, Cumbria -£10m 3.9 km single
carriageway by-pass to relive the two villages and encourage new
business into Workington and West Cumbria. Anticipated opening
A500 Basford, Hough, and Shavington by pass, Cheshire -£28m 7.5km by
pass taking 75 per cent of traffic out of the three villages and
providing better access from the M6 to the European rail freight
terminal and business developments south of Crewe. Anticipated
A650 Bingley Relief Road, West Yorks -£53m 5km dual carriageway to
remove 90 per cent of heavy goods vehicles from the town, and support
local regeneration. Anticipated opening 2003/04.
A63 Selby bypass, North Yorkshire -£42.6m 10km by pass taking
traffic out of the town, with an estimated reduction of 250 personal
injury accidents over 30 years. Anticipated opening: 2003/04
A120/M11 Stanstead- Braintree Improvement -£74m scheme will improve
access to the area and make substantial savings on journey times to
facilitate development associated with the expansion of Stanstead
Airport. The scheme will also improve safety and provide
environmental relief along the existing A120 by removing through
traffic. Anticipated opening 2003/04.
A5 Nesscliffe bypass, Shropshire -£13.5m 4.5km bypass to remove 90
per cent of traffic from the village, removing bottleneck on the main
route to Holyhead. Anticipated opening: 2003/04.
A6 Rothwell-Desborough bypass, Northants, -£10.5m scheme to relieve
the villages of most of 15,000 vehicles a day, causing severe
environmental and safety problems caused by current tortuous route.
Anticipated opening 2003/04.
A6 Rushden and Higham Ferrers bypass, Northants -£9.4m scheme to
relieve the two towns of most of 20,000 vehicles a day, causing
severe safety and environmental problems due to tortuous current
route. Anticipated opening 2003/04.
A10 Wadesmill-Colliers End bypass, Herts -£24m scheme bringing
environmental and safety benefits by taking most of 27,000 vehicles a
day out of three villages. Anticipated opening 2004/05.
A46 Newark-Lincoln Improvement (£29m), Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire
The improvement will alleviate problems of safety and slow journey
times on this single carriageway road with farm accesses which
carries a high traffic flow of 19,000vpd (19% HGV). There will be
improved access to assist regeneration in Lincolnshire and a
reduction in environmental problems where the A436 passes through the
village of Brough. Anticipated opening 2003/04.