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Accelerated improvements to M3 will see benefits for drivers and hauliers

Motorists and hauliers will benefit from increased capacity on England’s motorways by spring 2015 thanks to the acceleration of three upgrades, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced yesterday.

These will be delivered in this spending review period rather than the next, as the government introduces major improvements to the way road schemes are planned and built.

This new way of working should in future see lanes added to motorways in up to half the time it normally takes.

The three schemes being accelerated are:

  1. M3 J2 to 4a, Surrey

  2. M6 J10a to 13, West Midlands

  3. M1 J28 to 31, Derbyshire

Vital improvements to A160/A180 route to the Port of Immingham will also start construction sooner than originally planned in the summer of 2015 and completed autumn 2016 - cutting 18 months off the original construction timetable.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I am determined to cut the time it takes to upgrade our roads in half by dismantling procedures that have slowed us down.

"Together these schemes will increase capacity for millions of road users by 72 miles. My ambition is that in future all major road schemes will be accelerated, tackling congestion more quickly and boosting the economy."

Notes to the editor:

1) The original press release can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/news/crucial-road-improvements-to-be-delivered-twice-as-fast

2) There are four schemes in the programme where this new approach to road upgrades will be piloted, these are:

  • Surrey, M3 J2 to 4a managed motorway

  • the West Midlands, M6 J10a to 13 managed motorway

  • Derbyshire, M1 J28 to 31 managed motorway

  • A160/A180 Immingham dualling scheme - improving access to the Port of Immingham

3) Surrey, M3 J2 to 4a managed motorway- Work on this scheme, which was added to the roads programme last autumn, is expected to start 2013/14 and be completed by spring 2015 rather than during 2016. The start of work is subject to the completion of necessary statutory processes.

The latest cost-range estimate for the project is £159 million (minimum) to £223 million (maximum).

This project is located on 13.4 miles of the M3 Motorway between Junction 12 of the M25 (M3 J2) to the A327 (M3 J4a) in Surrey.

Extra capacity will come through converting the hard shoulder to a traffic lane – with variable speed limits helping to reduce congestion and smooth traffic flows.

This will provide more reliable journeys from London and Heathrow to Solent Ports – important for both leisure and business commuters.