DRIVE TO IM­PROVE ROADS MAY HAND A413 £100M BOOST

Works would im­prove jour­neys on ma­jor Bucks route

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by An­dré Lang lois an­dre.lan­glois@trin­i­tymir­ror.com twit­ter: @sel­don­moore

A MA­JOR gov­ern­ment scheme could make £100 mil­lion avail­able to im­prove the A413 through Bucks.

A con­sul­ta­tion has been launched on what is be­ing called the Ma­jor Roads Net­work (MRN), made up of key A roads.

The plan aims to re­duce con­ges­tion and pro­vide in­fra­struc­ture for eco­nomic growth and new hous­ing.

A pub­lished “in­dica­tive” map – not a fi­nal pro­posal – in­cludes the A413, as well as the A355, con­nect­ing the M40 and M4.

In to­tal, the MRN con­sul­ta­tion pro­poses that 5,000 miles of A road – more than 20 times the length of the UK’s long­est mo­tor­way – are brought into scope for new fund­ing from the Na­tional Roads Fund for up­grades and im­prove­ments.

Up­grade schemes could in­clude by­passes, miss­ing links be­tween ex­ist­ing routes, road widen­ing, ma­jor junc­tion im­prove­ments and the use of tech­no­log­i­cal and safety en­hance­ments.

Un­der the pro­pos­als in the con­sul­ta­tion, each suc­cess­ful bid will be el­i­gi­ble for up to £100m of gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

Trans­port Sec­re­tary Chris Grayling said: “For decades, these ma­jor lo­cal roads have been un­der­funded and not prop­erly main­tained.

“We are spend­ing record amounts on im­prov­ing our roads and we want more of our busiest roads to ben­e­fit from guar­an­teed in­vest­ment.

“This will un­lock no end of ben­e­fits for com­mu­ni­ties by im­prov­ing mo­tor- ists’ jour­neys, tak­ing traf­fic away from built up ar­eas, as well as en­abling new hous­ing to be built and cre­at­ing jobs.”

The con­sul­ta­tion started on De­cem­ber 23 and will last 12 weeks.

It is pro­posed that a re­view of the MRN will mir­ror the planned in­vest­ment in the strate­gic road net­work – mo­tor­ways and large A roads man­aged by High­ways Eng­land.

Un­der the pro­pos­als, road up­grades will be de­vel­oped by coun­cils and, where pos­si­ble, sub-na­tional trans­port bodies – a re­gional body which in­flu­ences fund­ing de­ci­sions such as Trans­port for the North – mean­ing they will be de­signed by the ar­eas to de­liver the best so­lu­tions for their roads.

From 2020 the Na­tional Roads Fund will be paid for by Ve­hi­cle Excise Duty, which raised about £6 bil­lion last year. Also iden­ti­fied in the in­dica­tive map is the A412, con­nect­ing Slough with Uxbridge and Rick­mansworth.

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