HIGHWAYS ENGLAND PLANS NEXT FIVE YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION
Highways England has announced its strategic business plans for the next five years, including starting 12 new major road-building projects.
This follows the Chancellor’s announcement in March 2020, as part of his budget statement, for a £27.4billion investment in England’s strategic road network between 2020 and 2025. This publication of the government’s second investment strategy (RIS2) set out further details. Highways England’s own strategic business plans states how it plans to spend that £27.4billion.
This includes marquee construction elements for the £2billion Stonehenge tunnel to upgrade the A303 (Amesbury to Berwick Down), with work on the Stonehenge tunnel due to start work in summer 2022, and the £7billion Lower Thames Crossing, which is due to start construction in early 2023.
Highways England’s Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan said that we’ve reached a place where government considers our roads as “a fully integrated system, and a part of the broader UK transport network. As a result, we can work better with our stakeholders and with our supply chain as partners.”
He further stated that Highways England “offer much improved customer service, and we are starting to clear the back log of decades of under-investment in the country’s most important transport network.”
Highways England has also promised to end the use of dynamic hard shoulder motorways by March 2025, upgrading them to ‘all lane running’ by converting the hard shoulder into a permanent traffic lane. It has also committed to fixing many of the hazards that it previously built into its ‘smart’ motorways.
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