Budget 2016: Chancellor announces road building plans
16 March 2016
Chancellor George Osborne has allocated £161m of "new money" to upgrade the M62 to a smart motorway between Warrington and Eccles (J10-12) and Rochdale and Brighouse (J20-25) in the latest Budget.
The Government has also promised to boost capacity of the M1 between Rotherham and Wakefield (J35a-39) and will carry out a feasibility study to establish the viability of making the M1 a continuous smart motorway from London to Yorkshire and turning the M42 and M5 around Birmingham into four-lane smart motorways. A new National Infrastructure Commisions study will also look into the transport upgrades needed to boost growth between Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford.
Osborne also announced that the Government will "develop the case for a new tunnel road between Manchester and Sheffield" with Highways England provided with £75m of funding and upgrade the A66 and A69 north of the Pennines. Transport links closer to the capital will be addressed too, Osborne stated, with £80m allocated to take Crossrail 2 "to the next stage" and new river crossings promised in Ipswich and Lowestoft.
HS3 high-speed trains between Manchester and Leeds have also been given the "green light" in an attempt to improve transport in the 'Northern Powerhouse'.
Osborne additionally announced the allocation of £16m to "improve rail station facilities" at Market Harborough, St Albans, Redhill, Newbury, High Wycombe, Exeter St Davids, Weston-Super-Mare and Cheltenham Spa.