Works to im­prove A46 could cut queues and boost econ­omy

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS - By KATY HAL­LAM

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-

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