The government has announced £20 million of funding for road improvements in the south west and north east of England.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling gave details of four schemes to support housing development in Swindon, Exeter, Weston-super-Mare and Darlington.
Funding comes from Highways England’s £100m Growth and Housing Fund and is accompanied by investment from private housing developers.
Highways England will spend £5m on the junction of the M4 and the A419 near Swindon, providing infrastructure for one of the largest housing developments in the country. Work is due to start in 2018.
Another £4.5m will be spent building the A30/M5 Tithebarn Link Road near Exeter, which will serve three new housing and employment sites. The project will provide a cycle bridge over the M5 and a new link road connected to the A30, reducing traffic at junction 29 of the M5. The developer has contributed another £4.6m to the scheme, which is due for completion in March 2019.
Further north on the M5, at junction 21, £750,000 of Highways England money will go towards motorway improvements near Weston-super-Mare, supporting the Weston Villages development of 6000 new houses and 4000 new jobs. Developers are contributing £450,000 to the project, which will finish in 2018.
In the north east, £1.01m will go towards improvements to junction 58 of the A1(M) at Darlington. The project will unlock access to two development sites that could result in the construction of 1200 new homes. It involves improvements to the A68 Rotary Way roundabout and the West Park Garden Village Link Road, and is due to finish in 2017. Developers are contributing £1.46m to the cost.
The Growth and Housing Fund is in addition to the government’s £15bn earmarked for road development between 2015 and 2020.
“We’re undertaking the biggest modernisation programme for a generation to bring our roads into the 21st century and give people the safe and reliable journeys they expect,” said Chris Grayling. “But these improvements will do even more – allowing the construction of thousands of homes and the creation of thousands of jobs to give a huge boost to the area’s economy.”
Jim O’Sullivan, chief executive of Highways England, added: “The improvements we are announcing today are necessary to accommodate the extra journeys the developments will create, but without the government investment they would not have been viable.
“We will continue to use our Growth and Housing Fund and work with a range of local stakeholders to unlock further development sites around the country.”