Massive cash boost for Junction 7a M11 plans

Politics / Fri 13th Jan 2017 at 09:19am

COUNCILS across England are today finding out their share of £1.2 billion local roads funding for the 2017 to 2018 financial year, Transport Minister Andrew Jones has announced.

And Harlow will benefit from a large cash injection for Junction 7a of the M11.

Following the announcement last week that the government will build 200,000 homes, the DfT will also support plans for a new motorway junction on the M11, near Harlow in Essex. This will help to ensure the delivery of 15,000 homes and support continued growth in the local economy. The new junction, to be known as Junction 7A, will sit to the north of Harlow, and will cut several minutes from journeys to Stansted and Cambridge.

The scheme will provide better access to the motorway both for new residents and for the existing inhabitants of Harlow and Sawbridgeworth; plus less congestion on the existing junction 7. The project will be part-funded by Essex County Council, and could begin construction in 2019.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth; Regeneration and Partnerships, said: “I am delighted that the Government has backed this vital junction which offers a much-needed link for residents and business across west Essex.

“Plans for Junction 7a were agreed by Essex County Council Cabinet last month following a public consultation to ensure Junction 7a delivers benefits for everyone in Essex.

“Creating a key link to the M11 for Harlow, reductions in congestion and business growth opportunities are just a handful of reasons this plan has received unrivalled support.

“It is important that we now move quickly so drivers and businesses across Essex can feel the positive effect of this work as soon as possible.”

The funding to improve roads, cut congestion and improve journey times includes money from the new National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement and the Pothole Action Fund. It also includes £75 million which councils can bid for to repair and maintain local infrastructure such as bridges, street lighting and rural roads.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:

Roads play a significant part in everyday life linking people with jobs and businesses with customers, which is why this government is investing record amounts improving and maintaining highways across the country to help motorists.

The funding we have allocated today is focused on relieving congestion and providing important upgrades to ensure our roads are fit for the future – helping to build an economy that works for everyone.

In a further effort to reduce the number of potholes the Department for Transport (DfT) will begin a new innovative trial, in partnership with Thurrock and York Councils which could revolutionise the way potholes are identified and managed. A pothole-spotter system, mounted to refuse collection vehicles, comprising of high-definition cameras, integrated navigation system and intelligent software will be deployed to identify road surface problems before they become potholes.

The £1.2 billion for the 2017 to 2018 financial year consists of:

£210 million from the National Productivity Investment Fund announced in the Autumn Statement when the Chancellor committed to invest an extra £1.3 billion improving the road network over the course of the Parliament. From this, £185 million will be allocated in the 2017 to 2018 financial year to local highway authorities in England, outside London, to improve local highways and public transport networks with the remainder of the funding of £25 million being available for safer roads to help tackle some of the most dangerous A roads

£801 million to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, to help improve the condition of local roads
£70 million to be shared across local highway authorities in England, outside London, from the Pothole Action Fund which will help repair over 1.3 million potholes
£75 million from the Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, inviting local highway authorities in England, outside London, to compete for funding to help repair and maintain local highway infrastructure, such as bridges, lighting and rural roads
£75 million from the Highways Maintenance Incentive Element which invites to complete a self-assessment questionnaire in order to reward those who demonstrate they truly understand the value of their asset

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