Highways England announces £200 million investment to improve roads across the South West of England 

Laura White
Laura White

Millions of road-users in the South West of England are set to enjoy safer, quicker and smoother journeys, as Highways England delivers a £200 million package of improvements across the region over the next few months.

The announcement comes after Highways England invested a similar amount in the South West last year and follows the Government’s continued drive to level up transport in regions right across the country.

Responsible for motorways and major A-roads, the company’s investment will fund vital infrastructure and boost both connections and local economies as we build back better from the pandemic.

Well-known motorways and major A-roads including the M4, M5, A40 and A38 are all included in the package.

Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are all set to benefit from the planned works, including road resurfacing and maintenance, the creation of cycle lanes, improved signage and landscaping.

Funded from the Government’s Road Investment Strategy, Highways England will, in total, spend £200 million during the financial year on more than 121 of these kinds of schemes across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. This is in addition to
the multi-million A30 dualling scheme in Cornwall and A303 dualling scheme in Sparkford which are both under construction.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “This Government is committed to levelling-up transport right across the country, helping people get to work or education, and to see family
and friends.

‘This multi-million-pound investment is a real reflection of that commitment. It will ensure road-users right across the South West enjoy safer, quicker journeys, and that the local economy can build back better from
the pandemic.”

Highways England Regional Director, Andrew Page-Dove, said: “Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads every day for work journeys, home deliveries and the movement of the goods and services, so it’s essential we keep them in a good condition to ensure safety and reliability.

‘With this investment, Highways England will continue to deliver the essential maintenance and upgrades throughout the region to improve safety and help keep drivers on the move.”

Highways England has a comprehensive maintenance programme, which includes widening the footpath for cyclists and pedestrians on the A38 Mowhay bridge.

It’s not just motorists who will benefit either. Since 2015 the company has invested more than £85 million towards the creation of 160 new and upgraded cycle ways across England, providing safe, attractive and accessible facilities for people to cycle for work, shopping and leisure.

Recently, the company completed a local authority project to improve the National Cycleway Network between Cribbs Causeway and Severn Beach, with a scheme also nearing completion on the A36 in Salisbury.

While the £2.89 million Mowhay project will see the current footbridge modified for both cyclists and walkers, and another project set to start on the A38 in Plymouth.

With work taking place throughout several lockdowns, Highways England contacted 100,000 people in the region to ensure those who needed to make essential journeys in line with government guidelines, were kept well informed and able to do so.

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