DRIVE TO IMPROVE ROADS MAY HAND A413 £100M BOOST
Works would improve journeys on major Bucks route
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.