The UK government will stump up £93 million for “vital” road improvements, including a “dramatic overhaul” of the A59 in North Yorkshire, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced.
Said to form part of the government’s “commitment to fuel the economic recovery from Covid-19”, the bulk (£56m) of the pledged money will be given to the Northern Powerhouse initiative.
The focus is on the Key Gill section of the A59 in North Yorkshire, whereby a new road will be built to divert traffic from a landslip-prone portion of the route. It is claimed this will also remove traffic from nearby villages and improve journey-time reliability for commuters.
Further funding (£24m) will go to reducing congestion in the West Midlands. At the intersection of the M5, A4123 and A4034 - known as Birchey Island - a road-widening project will bring additional lanes to the roundabout, while pedestrians and cyclists will get “improved facilities for greener travel” at the intersection.
A project receiving the remaining £13m is in Hampshire, southern England. The Redbridge Causeway bridges over the River Test - said to carry around 60,000 vehicles a day - will be upgraded. The move is said to “speed up delivery” of crucial maintenance work, ensuring more disruptive works aren’t required in future.
The total cost of the scheme will be £107m, with local councils meeting the shortfall after the £93m central funding.
Shapps said the funding is “further proof of this government delivering on its promise to level up the country - putting transport at the heart of our efforts to build back better from Covid-19.”