Works to improve A46 could cut queues and boost economy
MAJOR improvements to the A46 could drastically cut journey times for drivers and help boost the local economy by more than £24m, according to a transport body.
Midlands Connect says urgent work is needed to improve the major route, which stretches 155 miles from Gloucestershire to Lincolnshire and runs through Coventry.
It has proposed a 20-year vision to future-proof the dual carriageway including work to Junction 2 of the M6 and an Alcester to Warwick expressway.
The road is currently a massive headache for drivers in Coventry and Warwickshire, who often find themselves stuck in queues as rush hour average speeds regularly fall below 20mph at key pinch points.
And that means businesses in the area who use the major trade route are losing out on money.
Midlands Connect says the improvements would not only make journeys easier, but also make the A46 a viable alternative to other congested hotspots like the M6, M42, M1 and M5.
If Midlands Connect gets its way, efforts to improve pinch points along the A46 which are already scheduled to be completed by 2022 would be accelerated.
A huge transformation is set to take place at the roundabout where the A46 and A428 meet in Binley, which is a notorious traffic blackspot on Coventry’s roads.
The plans will see the A46 dual carriageway turned into a flyover to separate local traffic from those using the A46.
It should ease traffic jams in the area and make journeys quicker as less traffic will have to use the small roundabout.
Improvements are also being made to the Walsgrave junction - where the B4082 meets the A46.
But the transport body also wants to go further.
The current priorities for stage two of the A46 Corridor Study include:
An Alcester to Warwick Expressway Junction improvements at Thickthorn, Possible interventions around Stratford-uponAvon Potential for a Leicester Eastern/ Southern Bypass, including a link from M69 J2 and a new M1 J20A.
The A46 corridor is home to 5.5 million people and 2.9 million jobs, with an economic output of £115 billion a year, equivalent to nine per cent of the English economy. The Office of National Statistics forecasts an increase of 600,000 new residents and 250,000 new homes within the corridor by 2041.
With 150,000 new jobs on the line too, Midlands Connect says only a comprehensive, holistic solution to improving the A46 can support this growth.
As well as serving local and regional traffic between the towns and cities along it, the A46 is a vital trade and export route, providing access to Bir-