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2001-03-28 DET-001
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

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Prescott delivers strategy for modern and sustainable transport system


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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Prescott delivers strategy for modern and sustainable transport system
_______________________________________________________________


date
28 March 2001
source Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
type Press release

note News Release 191


The travelling public will benefit from a billion pound transport package as the Government delivers on its strategy for a modern and sustainable transport system.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott today outlined a series of transport schemes born out of the 10 Year Plan to tackle congestion and pollution through an integrated, innovative and long-term approach.

Mr Prescott said:

"These schemes are delivering improved transport for communities as part of the strategy in our £180 billion 10 Year Plan for Transport announced last July. By combining public transport initiatives with sensible road improvements we are tackling congestion and pollution in an integrated, long-term approach."

Today's announcement of regional packages includes:

In the North - the £487 million Leeds Supertram[*] ; an £18 million road widening and junction improvement project to increase safety and cut congestion on the A595 at Parton in Cumbria; a £4.7 million road safety scheme at Longnewton on the A66 near Darlington; a £3.3 million road scheme to cut congestion on the A1(M) near Durham with climbing lanes between Junctions 60 and 62; and a £24 million road scheme to improve access to the M62, Junction 6 in Merseyside.

In the South West - the Bristol light rail scheme[*] worth £194 million, the construction of a new section of the A30 to remove the bottleneck between Bodmin and Indian Queens in Cornwall and a £17 million bypass around the Cornish village of Dobwalls, to reduce congestion and improve road safety;

In the South East - the South Hampshire Rapid Transit light rail scheme[*] worth £190 million; the £107 million improvement to the A3 at Hindhead (including a toll free 1.7km tunnel) which will relieve congestion while at the same time protecting the environmentally sensitive Hindhead Common and the £15 million Kent Fastrack scheme to make better use of the existing road network for public transport in the Thames Gateway area;

In the Midlands and East England - a £37 million Masshouse Circus public transport project in Birmingham to make the network safer and easier for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, £31 million to ease congestion on the A1 between Peterborough and Blyth by replacing six roundabouts with a series of flyovers or underpasses, an £82 million scheme to improve the A46 between Newark and Nottingham to improve road safety and cut congestion with underpasses and flyovers and a £10 million safety improvement scheme near Stowmarket on the A14;

All three light rail schemes, worth a total of £871 million have taken a step closer to going into service having been measured against the Government's tough appraisal criteria.

Public transport also benefits from £52 million of funding for schemes in Kent and Birmingham to improve the flow of public transport, improve safety and combat congestion and pollution.

Technological developments are at the heart of the package bringing real benefits to motorists with the Highways Agency award of a £160 million contract to establish and operate the Traffic Control Centre Project. The centre will monitor traffic on the motorway and trunk road network in England and provide up-to-the-minute advice to road users, including information about routes to avoid congestion. The new system will help reduce delays for road users and provide for more reliable journey times on national routes.

Sustainable development was given another major boost yesterday with new planning guidance (PPG13) which will help integrate planning and transport at the local level to deliver the Government's 10 Year Plan for Transport.

Mr Prescott added:


"We are delivering radical and environmentally sound solutions to rebuild our infrastructure, cut congestion, improve public transport and give people choice. This is backed by long-term resources from both the public and private purse to make up for the years of neglect. This ensures transport plays its part in our wider objectives of improving the quality of life and supporting regeneration and economic growth."

Notes to Editors
*The light rail schemes in Leeds and South Hampshire have passed the Government's own appraisal which assessed their value for money. Some further work is needed on the Bristol scheme, including on some aspects of its detailed plans. However, the Government have accepted that were the scheme to come forward confirming the current proposals, it would pass the appraisal tests. Light rail schemes also require statutory powers under the Transport and Works Act in order to proceed with construction. The Secretary of State has made the necessary Orders for the Leeds scheme, subject to confirmation by Parliament. Hampshire and Portsmouth have already put in an application. Bristol and South Gloucestershire intend to do so as soon as possible.

Schemes to be added to the targeted programme of improvements
The South East
A3 Hindhead Improvement (£107m)
The provision of 6.5km dual carriageway improvement of the A3 in Surrey including a 1.7km twin bored tunnel under Hindhead Common. The scheme will remove the last remaining section of single carriageway on this strategic route between London and Portsmouth as well as provide a bypass of the village of Hindhead. The scheme will bring safety and journey time benefits on the A3 as well as improving the environment in Hindhead through improvements in noise and air quality and a reduction in severance. The tunnel will allow the scheme to avoid any direct impact on the Devil's Punch Bowl SSSI and Hindhead Common, part of the Surrey Hills AONB, and will provide an opportunity to unite areas of National Trust land currently severed by the A3.

The decision to proceed with this improvement as an untolled tunnel scheme follows a study commissioned after the 1998 Roads Review into whether the environmental and economic benefits of the proposed 1.7km bored tunnel beneath Hindhead Common could be delivered, funded in part by user charging. The study, which was completed recently, concluded that there was likely to be significant diversion of A3 traffic on to other local roads if charging was imposed. In the light of the conclusions of this study it has therefore been decided to proceed with the scheme without charging users.

The South West
A30 Bodmin-Indian Queens Improvement (£49m)
The provision of a new off-line, dual carriageway standard section of the A30 between the Bodmin and Indian Queens Bypasses in Cornwall. The scheme is designed to remove the bottleneck of this single carriageway section of the route which currently suffers from sub-standard alignment and visibility and is crossed by a low railway bridge which high sided vehicles can only avoid by using unsuitable local roads. By taking the scheme off-line A30 traffic will be removed from the centre of Goss Moor, an SSSI and National Nature Reserve and candidate Special Area of Conservation. The scheme will bring about more reliable journey times and significant safety benefits given the improved junctions on the A30 as well as improvements in the village of Victoria due to the removal of much of the current through traffic. The scheme will also improve access to Cornwall, a designated Objective 1 area, thereby helping regeneration.

A38 Dobwalls Bypass (£17m)
A bypass to the north of the village of Dobwalls in Cornwall on the A38 between Liskeard and Bodmin. The village suffers from severe congestion especially during the holiday season which leads to a high accident rate and a worsening of the environment in the village. On the busiest summer Saturdays a one way system using local roads has to be introduced to cope with the volume of traffic. The bypass will bring about large journey time benefits as well as safety benefits. It will also provide an improvement in air quality and a reduction in noise and severance in the village. The current design of the scheme is to dual carriageway standard but this will be reviewed during detailed design work which will also seek to minimise any impact on environmentally sensitive areas of woodland. The scheme lies within the area covered by the London to South West and South Wales multi modal study but a technical analysis by the study consultants has shown that the separate development of the bypass will not prejudice the overarching study strategy.

The Midlands and East of England
A1 Peterborough - Blyth Grade Separated Junctions (£31m)
The removal of the last six single-level roundabouts and their replacement by two-level junctions on the A1 between the A1(M)/A614 junction in Nottinghamshire and the B1081 south of Stamford, Lincolnshire. The current roundabouts at Apleyhead, Blyth, Carpenter's Lodge, Colsterworth, Gonerby Moor, and Markham Moor and their approaches suffer from significant safety and congestion problems which cause queuing and delays to A1 traffic during peak periods. The situation at Colsterworth Roundabout is compounded by a poor quality single-level junction to the north of the roundabout. The new schemes will bring about large safety and journey time saving benefits on this strategic national route between London and the North. The schemes will also bring about improvements in local air quality, and a reduction in greenhouse gases.

A14 Haughley New St - Stowmarket Improvement (£10m)
A short realignment of the main carriageway of the A14 close to the village of Haughley, Suffolk, along with a two-level junction and rationalisation of side road accesses between the A14 and the village of Haughley New Street. This section of the A14 currently suffers from substandard vertical and horizontal alignment causing poor visibility which leads to safety problems especially at the various side road accesses. The scheme will bring about safety and journey time saving benefits. The scheme will be carefully designed to avoid any impact on the areas of semi-natural ancient woodland in the vicinity. The A14 is a strategic east-west route between the Midlands and the east coast ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.

A46 Newark - Widmerpool Improvement (£82m)
The mainly on-line upgrading of the A46 between Newark and Widmerpool to dual carriageway standard with two-level junctions replacing the current single-level junctions. The scheme will include bypasses of the villages of Kinoulton, Bingham, Syerston and Farndon. The current route suffers from severe congestion and has a serious accident problem. The upgrading of this link will provide a suitable standard for this strategic link between the M1 and the A1. It will provide safety and journey time savings benefits as well as large air quality benefits. There will be a full programme of archaeological investigation both before and during the construction as the route follows a Roman road. This scheme will complement the A46 Newark - Lincoln Improvement which is already in the targeted programme of improvements and for which the contract is due to be let in 2001/02.

The North
M62 Junction 6 Improvement (£24m)
The provision of new link roads to allow free flow movements between M62 westbound carriageway to M57 northbound carriageway and M57 southbound carriageway to the M62 eastbound carriageway at Junction 6 of the M62 near Liverpool. The lack of these link roads leads currently to peak time congestion on local side road junctions and the motorway slip roads which tails back onto motorway causing queuing and delays. The scheme will provide large journey time saving benefits and safety and air quality benefits as well as a reduction in greenhouse gases. It will also help aid the regeneration of Merseyside.

A595 Parton - Lillyhall Improvement (£18m)
The improvement to dual carriageway standard of the A595 between Parton and Lillyhall in Cumbria including improvements to junctions and a bypass of the villages of Distington and Howgate. The existing route has a relatively high traffic flow and a large number of junctions which leads to congestion. The scheme will provide safety and journey time savings benefits as well as large improvements to the air quality and noise levels in the villages bypassed. It will also contribute to the objective of helping the regeneration of West Cumbria by improving access to and from the M6.

Smaller schemes to be added to the Highways Agency's programme of Local Network Management Schemes (schemes costing less than £5m)
The South East
M40/A404 Handy Cross Junction (£3m)
Improvement of Junction 4 of the M40 in Buckinghamshire, including a new right turn link to allow traffic to travel from the M40 eastbound carriageway to the A404 southbound carriageway and the provision of a new slip road between the A404 northbound carriageway and the M40 westbound carriageway. The aim of these improvements is to segregate long distance traffic from local traffic at Handy Cross. This scheme is one part of an integrated package of improvements designed to improve the functioning of the junction and follows an Integrated Transport Study undertaken by Buckinghamshire County Council, Wycombe District Council, the Highways Agency and the Government Office for the South East.

The North
A1 (M) J60 - J62 Improvement (£3.3m)
Provision of two sections of climbing lane on two steep sections of the A1(M) near Durham. The current sections of the route suffer from significant congestion caused by the presence of slow moving vehicles. The scheme will provide journey time savings.

A66 Longnewton Grade Separated Junction (£4.7m)
The provision of a two-level junction at an existing "T" junction at Longnewton on the A66 between Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees together with an adjacent link road to enable closure of 10 central reserve gaps. The gaps on the 3km length of the A66 currently allow right turns across the dual carriageway resulting in a significant number of accidents. The scheme will bring about safety and regeneration benefits as well as some journey time savings. In addition the capacity of this section of the A66 needs to be increased to allow expansion of freight handling facilities at the nearby Teeside Airport.

Press Enquiries: 020 7944 3066; Out of Hours: 020 7944 5925/5945
Public Enquiries Unit: 020 7944 3000; E mail: press@dtlr.gov.uk


Railhub Archive ::: 2001-03-28 DET-001





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