Highways England, a UK Government owned road operator, has unveiled plans to deliver £14billion (€15.5 billion) of road projects over the next five years as part of a larger £27.4 billion (€30.3 billion) scheme.
A further £11 billion (€9.9 billion) will be used to repair and replace parts of the existing strategic road network with the company looking to support around 64,000 construction industry jobs.
Four major road schemes are set to be completed in the North West by spring 2025, and another five major projects are expected to begin construction works in the next five years.
Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive; who is set to stand down next year, said, ”Over the next five years we will increase capacity where it is most needed and continue to upgrade more of the network which has suffered from decades of under-investment.”
Part Highways England’s pledge is to deliver the Government’s second Road Investment Strategy in which the company has agreed to:
- Open more than 50 upgrades and save millions of hours by improving journey times
- Invest almost £1 billion on broader projects to improve roads for the communities they serve, such as conserving cultural heritage or strengthening flood resilience, and improving access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders
- Make 7,500 households quieter by tackling noise from roads
- Help stop the loss of biodiversity
- Develop a pipeline of around 30 schemes for potential construction post 2025
One of the new roadbuilding projects set to get underway is a £200 million (€221.7 million) bypass to improve journeys on the main route between Manchester and Sheffield.
Highways England has appointed Balfour Beatty Atkins as its delivery partner to design and construct the new bypass which will take traffic, around 25,000 vehicles, away from the village of Mottram in Longdendale.
The village is on the key 25-mile trans-Pennine route between Manchester and Sheffield, connecting the M67 in the North West to the M1 in Yorkshire.
A public consultation on the scheme is now being planned for this winter, and a planning application is due to be submitted next year. If the plans are approved by the government then work on the Mottram Bypass project could start by spring 2023.
A new single carriageway road is also being planned to link the A57 from Mottram Moor to Woolley Bridge, taking traffic away from the current route of the A57 along Woolley Lane.