Highways England has today updated its £15 billion road improvement programme to reduce the impact of roadworks on motorists and minimise congestion while improvements take place.

Plans for twenty-six road upgrades have been revised to reduce roadworks taking place in the same area of the network or on popular journey routes at the same time. This will mean less congestion for motorists as Highways England embarks on the biggest road upgrade plan for a generation.

The Supplementary Delivery Plan published today will see Highways England rescheduling its programme for the schemes between three and 24 months – meaning a number of schemes will be completed earlier than planned. All are still set for delivery as part of the Government’s first road investment strategy.

Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive said “Our update today is a sensible and responsible way to deliver major national investment in road infrastructure. It will keep our roads moving, deliver a lasting legacy for the country and ensure best value for money for the taxpayer.”

Now, more than two years into delivery of a £15 billion Government investment in motorways and major A roads, Highways England has already completed 18 major schemes, adding more than 190 lane miles of much-needed capacity to the nation’s roads.

The 10 schemes being brought forward are:

  • A19 Testos
  • A19 Downhill Lane
  • M56 junctions 6-8 smart motorway
  • M6 junctions 21a – 26 smart motorway
  • M6 junction 22 upgrade
  • A500 Etruria
  • M6 junction 10
  • M4 Heathrow Slips
  • A47 Acle Straight -small scale improvement
  • A47 and A12 junction enhancement

The 16 schemes being re-scheduled to smooth the timing and frequency of roadworks are:

  • A5 Dodwells to Longshoot widening
  • M3 junction 9 improvement
  • A31 Ringwood
  • M27 junctions 4-11
  • A47 North Tuddenham to Easton
  • A47 Blofield to North Burlingham dualling
  • M25 junction 25 improvement
  • M25 junction 28 improvement
  • A1 Birtley to Coal House
  • M60 junctions 24-27 and junction 1-4 smart motorway
  • A47/A11 Thickthorn
  • A47 Wansford to Sutton
  • A47 Guyhirn Junction
  • A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening
  • M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange
  • M25 junctions 10-16

Highways England is obliged to ensure that investment in the road network delivers good value for money. Following a full review the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) programme some schemes require further development to achieve an acceptable return on investment. As a result, in addition to the 26 schemes above, 6 schemes have been paused for further review and consideration as part of future RIS planning process.

These schemes are:

  • A1 & A19 Technology enhancements
  • M11 junctions 8 to 14 technology upgrade
  • A12 whole-route technology upgrade
  • M53 junctions 5-11 smart motorway
  • A14 Junction 10a
  • M62/ M606 Chain Bar

Two further schemes required rework to achieve value for money; however, changes in local development plans mean that these schemes can be progressed, albeit in the early stages of Road Period 2. These are:

  • M5 Bridgwater junction improvements
  • A50 Uttoxeter Project B growth corridor project

Drainage product and access cover leader, Clark-Drain, has added a choice of Road Gullies certified to the Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS) to strengthen its underground range.

The Gullies are designed for quick and easy installation, in urban areas and on roads, for direct connection to PVC-U plastic pipe systems or with a suitable adaptor, also supplied, to clay and twin wall drainage systems. The gully outlet is 160mm diameter as standard with 178mm diameter available when using the outlet adaptor.

Manufactured from High Density Polyethylene the Gullies will be sold alongside Clark-Drain’s Ductile Iron Gully Grates which are BSI Kitemark Certified to BS EN124:1994 for a D400 (40 tonnes) load rating.

Dave Westacott, National Sales Manager at Clark-Drain says: “The addition of the Road Gullies supports the tendency in new installations to use plastic gully pots instead of pre-cast concrete. They are easier to handle, require less people and no heavy lifting equipment, resulting in cost savings. The plastic gullies also have a similar lifespan to pre-cast concrete when installed with a concrete surround.”

The practical design of the road gullies will also support the maintenance regimes of Local Authorities and their responsibilities for odour control.

Dave continues. “When used as a trapped system the gullies are airtight to prevent smells rising up from the existing sewers. This is mandatory for connections made to a Foul or Combined system, and is recommended for connections to Surface Water systems. It is also easy to maintain with a removable rubber plug that enables the gully to be rodded or cleaned using conventional equipment and machinery to clear debris from the drainage channels. The gullies have also been tested under HAPAS requirements to be fully watertight”

The Road Gullies have a clear opening of 450mm and will be offered in two depth sizes to 750mm and 900mm depth with water holding capacities of 83 litres and 107 litres volume respectively.

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