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Four pilot roads schemes chosen for speedy construction

The government will look at measures including off-site and 24 hour construction in an attempt to reduce build times on major roads projects through four pilot schemes.

Three motorway schemes will be piloted in Surrey, West Midlands and Derbyshire, while improvements to the 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.

The Department for Transport said road schemes would be delivered more quickly by:

  • Undertaking concurrent planning, design and construction preparation activities;
  • taking more work off-site and bringing to site as pre-fabricated /pre-assembled units; and
  • Moving toward a 24 hour operation with more people on site working on multiple faces at once.

Accelerated Schemes:

(1): Surrey, M3 J2 to 4a managed motorway

(2): The West Midlands, M6 J10a to 13 managed motorway

(3): Derbyshire, M1 J28 to 31 managed motorway

(4): A160/A180 Immingham dualling scheme - improving access to the Port of Immingham

The Department for Transport estimates that 1km of managed motorway (using the hard shoulder as extra lanes and variable speed limits) can be built every two weeks, instead of every four.

It is expected more complex, traditional capacity improvements on non-motorway routes, such as the A160/A180 Immingham improvements, will be delivered up to 25 per cent quicker.

The government say it will bring forward £75m of investment forward into this spending review as a result of these pilot projects.

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.”

His comments echoed those of prime minister David Cameron, who told the CBI’s annual conference on Monday that the government planned to speed up rail and road construction.

Pilot schemes in-detail:

  • Surrey, M3 J2 to 4a managed motorway (cost £159m to £223m)

Work on this scheme, which was added to the roads programme last autumn, is expected to start in 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.

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.

  • West Midlands, M6 J10a to 13 managed motorway (cost £140m to £201m)

Work on this scheme, which was added to the roads programme last autumn is expected to start 2013/14 instead of 2014/15 and be completed by spring 2015 instead of during the next financial year – 2015/16. The start of work is subject to the completion of necessary statutory processes.

The project is located on a 9.6-mile stretch of the M6 between junctions 10a and 13, to the north west of Birmingham.

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.

  • Derbyshire, M1 J28 to 31 managed motorway

Work on this scheme, is expected to start 2013/14 and be completed by spring 2015 instead of during the next financial year – 2015/16. The start of work is subject to the completion of necessary statutory processes.

This project will add extra capacity on the M1 near Sheffield, between junctions 28 and J31 (18.9 miles), which is the primary strategic link between Nottingham and Sheffield.

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.

  • Immingham A160 and A180 (£89m to £132m)

Work on this scheme is expected to start in summer 2015 instead of during 2016 and complete by autumn 2016 instead of during 2018 - this is subject to the successful completion of statutory processes, and the construction budget being agreed (for the next spending review period).

Out of an original five-and-a-half year programme, our ambition is to cut 18 months off the completion date.

We are proposing to improve the A160/A180 by upgrading it to a dual carriageway and improve access to the Port of Immingham. The A160 is approximately three miles long and has sections of both single carriageway and dual carriageway.

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