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Tue December 05 2023

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Midlands pitches for £596m to build 11 road schemes

29 Aug 19 Midlands Connect, which represents 22 local authorities and business interests across the Midlands, has submitted its wish list for government funding.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has a £3.5bn national fund available from 2020-2025. The Midlands wants £596m to enable construction of its 11 priority schemes to begin during that period.

The national fund covers upgrades to the major road network (MRN), a new category of the busiest and most economically important local authority A roads. The MRN was established by the government to focus on funding schemes that will reduce congestion, support housing and employment growth, and provide better links to motorways and trunk roads.

The £3.5bn government fund also includes ‘large local majors’ (LLM) schemes, which focus on bigger upgrades to local roads.

Following consultation and assessment, Midlands Connect has submitted seven priority MRN schemes and four LLM schemes to the DfT for consideration.

Midlands Connect has asked the government to fund £596m of the total £739m estimated cost of the submitted schemes, with the remaining £143m to be funded locally from a mixture of public and private sector sources. If successful, local authorities would deliver the projects.

The schemes include new bypasses, widening roads, improving junctions and roundabouts, new links between existing stretches of road and better pedestrian and cycling facilities. The 11 submitted priority schemes are:

Major Road Network
Scheme Name Local Highway Authority
A4123 Birchley Island, Sandwell Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
A38 Bromsgrove Route Enhancement Programme, Worcestershire Worcestershire County Council
A426/A4071 Avon Mill/Hunters Lane Improvements, Warwickshire Warwickshire County Council
Queensway Link, Telford Telford & Wrekin Council
A511 Growth Corridor, Coalville Leicestershire County Council
A454 between Wolverhampton and East Park Gateway Wolverhampton City Council
A45/Coventry Road/Damson Parkway Junction, Solihull Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Large Local Majors

Scheme Name Local Highway Authority
North Hykeham Relief Road Lincolnshire County Council
Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route Derbyshire County Council
City East Link Road Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Hereford Bypass Herefordshire County Council

An eighth MRN scheme, A614 Ollerton to Lowdham improvements in Nottinghamshire, has already received a funding commitment of £18m from the government, announced in October 2018.

Simon Statham, head of technical programmes at Midlands Connect, said: “A reliable transport network is essential to the success of the Midlands. The major road network targets funding specifically at schemes that help improve job opportunities, open up new housing developments, and importantly address our environmental obligations as well. Objectives for the funding include understanding how a scheme will create improvements for all road users, not just cars, and improve air quality by reducing congestion.

“By speaking with a collective voice on behalf of the Midlands, we believe each of the schemes submitted has provided all the evidence the government needs to fund them in full, and we expect to be celebrating a £600m investment in to the region to help our local authorities get on and deliver this transformational programme of upgrades.”

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