The schemes are part of a total package worth £108m - 40% up on last year. The announcement reflects the new focus on the management of the roads network towards projects which will ease congestion and remove accident trouble spots and improve service to the road user.
'The secretary of state indicated in December our intention to make the best use of the roads we already have,' Mr Watts said.
'These schemes will demonstrate what can be achieved by focusing our spending to show real benefits to road users and local people.
Examples of the 33 schemes are:
- an automatic overheight detector on the approach to the A102 Blackwall Tunnel
- safety fencing and strengthening of the road edge on the A35 Fulvens in Dorset
- provision of traffic signals to regulate the flow of traffic entering the A419 from the M4
- facilities for cyclists on the A41 Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire
Mr Watts also announced a £6m programme of 300 local safety projects.
'Work to provide better lighting, traffic signals or remove dangerous corners will, I am sure, be welcomed by both drivers and local people.
'We know that such projects are an extremely successful and cost effective way of reducing accidents.'
The local safety schemes, each costing less than £100,000, consist of measures such as improving skid resistance, enhancing visibility at junctions, removing adverse camber or dangerous bends, better junction lay out or traffic signals, installing lighting and upgrading signs and road markings.