The announcement of an additional £15.7 billion to be spent on road improvements over the next five years is to be warmly welcomed. The number of ‘pinch points’ and bottlenecks on the Strategic Road Network has been increasing sharply over the years since austerity measures resulted in many schemes being cut back.
The 80 new schemes now being put forward hold out the promise of reducing quite considerably the pressure on certain key points in the motorway and A-roads network.
Though still controversial, the emphasis on ‘smart’ motorways – with hard shoulder running and active traffic management – is also to be welcomed, following the success of its application on the M42 motorway.
Dr Pat Hanlon, Senior Lecturer in Transport Economics, University of Birmingham