Pinch point programme

How did it all get started?

The pinch point pro­gramme forms part of the UK Government’s growth ini­tia­tive, out­lined dur­ing the Chancellor’s Autumn State­ment in Novem­ber 2011. The Agency was ini­tially allo­cated over £200m for the pinch point pro­gramme to deliver focused improve­ments to the Strate­gic Road Net­work, dur­ing the period 2012/13 to 2014/15. Fol­low­ing the Autumn State­ment 2012 the High­ways Agency received an addi­tional £100m to invest in the pinch point programme.

The pinch point pro­gramme is being designed by the High­ways Agency to deliver smaller scale improve­ments to the strate­gic road net­work that will help to stim­u­late growth in the local econ­omy and relieve con­ges­tion and/or improve safety.

Stake­holder engagement

Engage­ment with our local stake­hold­ers is a key part of the pinch point pro­gramme. The agency has been talk­ing to local enter­prise part­ner­ships and divi­sions within local author­i­ties to incor­po­rate their knowl­edge and pri­or­i­ties for growth within their local areas into the programme.


Stages one and two of the pro­gramme were announced by the Roads Min­is­ter in July 2012 and Sec­re­tary of State in Octo­ber 2012 and con­sisted of 65 improve­ment projects across the network.

The third stage of the pinch point pro­gramme was announced by the High­ways Agency on 10 April 2013 and brought the total invest­ment in the pinch point pro­gramme to £317 mil­lion across 123 schemes.

Since that time sep­a­rate projects in two loca­tions have been merged to cre­ate a sin­gle scheme that will deliver the same intended out­comes. The schemes which have been merged are:

  • A14 junc­tion 31 to 32 east­bound and west­bound lane gain/lane drop in Cambridgeshire
  • A38 Markeaton schemes in Derby; a larger scheme was announced in Octo­ber 2012 with an ear­lier scheme announced in July 2012

In Feb­ru­ary 2014 the High­ways Agency announced a fur­ther two schemes to be added into the pinch point pro­gramme. These are:

  • A1 Southoe speed reduc­tion and safety cam­era scheme, Cambridgeshire
  • M61/A580 merge sig­nal­i­sa­tion scheme, Sal­ford, Greater Manchester

In Decem­ber 2014 two schemes have been with­drawn from the pinch point pro­gramme. These are:

  • A47 Hon­ing­ham round­about express­way, Norfolk

An alter­na­tive and more com­pre­hen­sive scheme has been iden­ti­fied and announced at the Autumn State­ment as part of the Road Invest­ment Strat­egy, which will pro­vide a con­tin­u­ous dual car­riage­way between Nor­wich and Dere­ham, which includes improv­ing the Hon­ing­ham location.

  • A303 Cart­gate round­about improve­ment, Yeovil

The A303 route in the south west region is under­go­ing a major improve­ment pro­gramme as part of the Road Invest­ment Strat­egy announced at the Autumn State­ment. We are there­fore devel­op­ing solu­tions at the loca­tion of the with­drawn A303 Cart­gate scheme, as part of the A303 fea­si­bil­ity study.

In July 2015, two schemes have been moved from the pinch point pro­gramme to be devel­oped fur­ther dur­ing the next few years of the Road Invest­ment Period.

  • A46 Cold Ash­ton, South Gloucestershire

This scheme is at design stage and is due to start con­struc­tion in sum­mer 2016 and com­plete con­struc­tion in 2017.  It will pro­vide ben­e­fits to road user to reduce con­ges­tion and improve safety at this key junc­tion link­ing Bath to the M5.

  • A404 Bisham round­about, Maidenhead

This scheme has been through local con­sul­ta­tion and it has been decided to with­draw the scheme whilst a longer term solu­tion is iden­ti­fied for this location.

This brings the over­all num­ber of schemes to 119.


(as of 30th June 2015)

No. of schemes which have started constructionNo. of schemes which have com­pleted constructionTotal num­ber of schemes


View the pinch point schemes which are being under­taken in your area in the map below.