A SUMMIT meeting has been held to discuss the implications of £1 billion worth of road improvements.
The Government recently announced that more than £1 billion will be pumped into transport infrastructure nationwide, including the notorious traffic hotspots the M1/M6 Catthorpe Interchange and the A45/A46 Tollbar End.
The M1/M6 Catthorpe interchange scheme will improve the existing junction which suffers from considerable delays and accidents due to queuing traffic, especially at peak periods. It currently handles around 100,000 vehicles per day.
Around 90,000 vehicles use the A45/A46 Tollbar End roundabout every day - a significantly greater number than the existing junction’s design capacity. The resulting congestion means that motorists are enduring large queues going onto Tollbar End roundabout and subsequent long delays.
The main scheme objectives are to provide relief from this congestion, improve journey times and reduce driver frustration by improving the capacity of the Tollbar End roundabout, the A45 Stonebridge Highway and the Festival Island at Stivichall, benefitting both local and strategic road needs.
Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport and Highways, said: “We welcome the huge Government investment into these two major traffic junctions which are currently a source of much frustration for motorists travelling into and around Warwickshire.
“Once completed, both projects will deliver significant improvements on these busy sections of the network, such as removing bottlenecks and improving safety and road layout.
“It is clear that both the Catthorpe Interchange and Tollbar End roundabout are key commercial routes and they have been given priority by the Chancellor to support and further stimulate growth in the local economy.”
Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council,
said: “I think it’s widely recognised that improvements are desperately needed on the A14 and that was why we hosted a high-profile summit to discuss the issue last week.
“We welcome any investment on the route and this latest announcement is very good news. However it’s important that all options for Catthorpe are considered and that a solution is found which fully maximises any investment.
“Going forward, we will be working with partners to explore solutions and where further funding can be accessed.”
Cllr Lesley Pendleton, Leicestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We welcome this investment from the Government which will assist in relieving congestion and help improve journey times for motorists.
“At Catthorpe it will mean that much needed work can be carried out to improve safety for drivers, improve the layout and help with the flow of traffic at what is a very busy junction.”
Work on the A45/A46 Tollbar End Improvement is planned to begin on site in the next two years. The Highways Agency is currently working to confirm the specific programme.
Subject to the completion of statutory processes, the Catthorpe Interchange improvement is due to commence within three years and the Highways Agency is currently working to identify the most efficient start of work dates.