DfT releases £160m for four major road and bridge projects

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced £160.8m of funding will go towards the delivery of four major road and bridge projects in England.

Investment in transport schemes in Cornwall, Greater Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton is predicted to unlock £659.3m in economic benefits.

The four major road schemes backed by the government include:

  • £78.5m for a new 3.85-mile (6.2km) road linking St Austell to the A30, the main transport artery in Cornwall. The scheme will create 6,300 new local jobs. It will also generate almost £112m in wider economic benefits through reduced journey times, increased investment in the local area and better opportunities for clean travel, thanks to a new shared pedestrian and cycle facility running alongside the whole length of the new road;
  • £35.3m for essential maintenance to the Tyne Bridge and adjacent Central Motorway, including improvements to traffic management and cycle-route facilities. The repairs will generate £130.5m in economic benefits by improving local connectivity, and tackling congestion and poor air quality as they will avoid the rerouting of HGVs through residential areas;
  • £33.6m to enhance walking and cycling accessibility, and tackle congestion across the A34 between Greater Manchester and Stockport – with estimated economic benefits of £76.8m. The scheme will support the development of more than 2,500 new homes and 33.3 hectares of employment space, while boosting transport links to Manchester Airport and HS2; and
  • £13.4m for essential maintenance to the A35 Redbridge Causeway – a vital link between the New Forest, Southampton and its port. The scheme is believed to be very high value for money, and it will generate almost £340m of direct economic benefits through better connectivity, improved employment and housing opportunities, and the expansion of the port of Southampton.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said: “We are committed to delivering world-class infrastructure across all parts of the country, which supports local economies to thrive.

“This £160.8m investment will level up those opportunities from the North East to the South West, while giving motorists, cyclists and pedestrians the modern, safe and uncongested roads they deserve.

“These schemes also present yet another important stepping stone towards cutting emissions and building a clean, efficient road network that is truly accessible to all.”

The biggest of the schemes, the St Austell to A30 link road, has been years in the planning. Originally due to start in 2019, the project had been earmarked to be completed this month. However, various planning hold-ups and issues with land acquisitions meant that work has yet to start.

Main contractor Alun Griffiths is lined up to complete the job, having carried out ground investigations as long ago as March 2020.

The road is now earmarked for completion in 2024.

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