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A Targeted Programme of Improvements - Highways Agency Strategic Plan for Improving the Network

A New Deal For Trunk Roads in England

A New Deal for Trunk Roads

'A New Deal For Trunk Roads in England' reported on the Government's strategic review of the roads programme against criteria of accessibility, safety, economy, environment and integration. It was one of a number of publications that spelt out more fully the policies in the white paper 'A New Deal For Transport: Better For Everyone'.

The main outputs were:

  • A new direction for the Highways Agency.
  • A core network of nationally important routes.
  • New planning arrangements for trunk roads.
  • Better maintenance and making better use of trunk roads.
  • New dedicated budgets for noise and safety improvements.
  • A carefully targeted programme of larger scale improvements. 

A2/M2 Cobham-Junction 4 Widening in Kent. Construction of River Medway Crossing.

 A2/M2 Cobham-Junction 4 Widening in Kent. Construction of River Medway Crossing 

A2/M2 Cobham-Junction 4 Widening in Kent. Translocation of ancient woodland.The planning arrangements for trunk roads are joined to land use planning at a regional level. Major improvements to trunk roads are now planned at a regional level and are considered as part of an overall transport network. Strategic road and rail corridors are considered in an integrated way including the provision of safe and accessible interchanges between different forms of transport.

The New Approach To Appraisal was developed to help make decisions, and help develop proposals that provide benefits across a wider range of objectives. It enables assessment of scheme proposals against the five criteria and the comparison of different options for solving transport problems, including traffic management and public transport alternatives. It was developed in consultation with English Nature, English Heritage, the Environment Agency and the Countryside Agency. 

StonehengeThe programme includes an environmental scheme at Stonehenge.

The Targeted Programme of Improvements announced in a New Deal for Trunk Roads comprised 37 schemes costing £1.4bn (see Map 1). The intention is to start construction of these by 2005, subject to the completion of statutory processes.

A further four schemes were added to the TPI in March 2000 and one in September 2000. The responsibility for one has passed to Transport for London. 

Map 1 Targeted Programme of Improvements

Table 1 Multi-Modal Studies
  Tranche 1
Already under way
Tranche 2 Starting 2000/01 Tranche 3 (provisional)* Starting 2001/02
Major Corridors W Midlands to North West (M6)
North/South movements in E Midlands (M1)
London to South West and South Wales (A3/A303/M3/M4/M5)
South Coast (Folkestone to Southampton)
London to S Midlands
A1 North of Newcastle
Orbital and Areas London Orbital
SE Manchester
S&W Yorkshire motorway box
W Midlands area
Tyneside area
Other Priority Corridors Access to Hastings
Cambridge to Huntingdon
A453 M1 - Nottingham
Hull corridor
London to Ipswich
M60 junctions 12 to 18
West to North Manchester
London to Reading
W Midlands to Nottingham
A47 West of Norwich
A34 North from Southampton
* Tranche 3 could include other schemes

In addition, seven schemes were identified which were not sufficiently advanced to be considered for the targeted programme but that address serious and pressing problems for which there may be no realistic alternative solution. These were to be progressed through their preparatory stages and statutory processes so that if they pass assessment under the new approach to appraisal they can be taken forward.

In some areas 'multi-modal studies' were set up to look at the contribution that all modes of transport and traffic management might make to existing problems.

Map 2 Multi-Modal Study Areas

Major Road Schemes and the Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) Process

Click to enlarge image

 Major Road Schemes and the Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) Process 

Traffic surveys - roadside interviews.The multi-modal studies (see Map 2) are set out in Table 1. All Tranche 1 studies are expected to report by the end of 2001, and the studies in other tranches within two years of starting.

In addition there are some studies that are road based, aimed at addressing particular localised problems on the trunk road network.

The 10 Year Plan provides the resources to implement the decisions arising from the studies. Decisions will be taken through the new arrangements for developing Regional Transport Strategies as part of the Regional Planning Guidance, and subsequently through the statutory planning process.