Prime Minister: M5 and A303 improvements will put West on road to recovery
David Cameron has announced a multi-million-pound boost to help cut congestion at the West’s worst bottlenecks, as part of his plans to get Britain on the road to recovery.
The Prime Minister, speaking at the Tory conference in Birmingham, said the projects would help the economy both through jobs, and by reducing the economic cost of traffic jams.
In total the Government has given the go-ahead for 57 new road schemes across England, costing £170 million.
Ministers say the projects – for motorways and major A-roads – will help the economy, cut congestion and improve safety.
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They include £1.3 million to improve the A303 Cartgate roundabout at Yeovil, in work to be carried out in 2014.
This will reduce congestion by providing two dedicated left-turn lanes from the A303 westbound to the A3088 towards Yeovil and the A3088 from Yeovil to the A303 westbound.
And ministers say it will support developments that could create up to 21,235 jobs and 6,640 homes by 2020.
A £1.1 million scheme in 2014 will improve the M5 junction 17 slip road at Bristol, to support growth at Filton, Cribbs Causeway and Patchway, and provide access to south west Bristol, Easter Compton and Severn Beach.
The aim is to cut traffic jams by widening the southbound exit slip toad and providing an additional hard shoulder as well as providing a new, dedicated left turn lane on Merlin Road.
This could help to create 6,350 jobs and 2,990 homes by 2020.
There is also £300,000 to improve the M5 junction 16 slip road in South Gloucestershire, creating a lane for traffic turning left towards the A38 north, which will support access to Bristol airport and port.
The schemes follow work to improve the A46 Cold Ashton roundabout, near Bath, which was previously announced.
There are also three schemes, costing a total of £900,000, around Hereford and focusing on the A49, to support 7,575 jobs and 3,300 new homes.
And the Government has also agreed to fund South West projects in Newton Abbott, Exeter and Plymouth.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Keeping traffic moving is vital to securing prosperity.”